Tag: Police

Cristy Campbell: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Cristy Campbell is being sought by the Glen Carbon, Illinois Police. (Facebook)

An Illinois woman has been found dead after she drove her SUV into a lake with her infant son inside following a fire at her home that killed a man, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Six children escaped from the Thursday morning fire at the home in Glen Carbon, Illinois, owned by Cristy Lynn Campbell, 32, and rescuers were also able to save the infant from Campbell’s SUV, the Belleville News-Democrat reports.

Campbell’s body was found at the lake about four hours after driving into the water. Her baby son is expected to make a full recovery, police say. Authorities have said the fire and the incident at the lake are connected, and had called Campbell a “person of interest” in the blaze, before she was found dead.

Police said they are still investigating both incidents and say many details about what happened have not yet been determined. No information about the person who died in the house fire has been released by authorities. A neighbor told the newspaper that Campbell lives at the home with her husband and seven children.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Campbell’s Children Sought Help at a Nearby Walmart After Escaping From the Blaze

Firefighters responded to the blaze at Cristy Campbell’s two-story home at 15 Dogwood Lane about 5:30 a.m., police told the Belleville News-Democrat.

Two of Campbell’s children ran to a nearby Walmart to seek help after the fire started. The six kids, all siblings, were all accounted for after the fire, but an adult was found dead inside the house, police said.

The children, who range in age from toddlers to teens, were placed into the care of relatives, according to authorities.

“They are receiving emotional support,” Glen Carbon Police Lieutenant Wayne White told reporters.

Sarah Fowlkes: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Sarah Madden Fowlkes, 27, a science teacher at Lockhart High School in Texas, is accused of being “engaged in sexual contact” with a 17-year-old student, police say.

Click here to read more


2. Her Infant Son Was Pulled From the Lake by Paramedics, Who Performed CPR on the Baby Before He Was Flown to a Hospital

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Cristy Campbell with her family. (Facbeook)

Not long after the fire, rescuers responded to Silver Lake in Highland, Illinois, about 15 miles away from Campbell’s house in Glen Carbon. A silver Nissan Armada was found in the lake with an infant inside. No one else was in the SUV. Campbell’s neighbor, Sherry Ricker, said the SUV pulled from the lake belongs to Campbell’s husband.

“That’s her car,” Ricker told the Belleville-News Democrat.

A passerby saw the SUV in the lake and called police. Paramedics jumped into the frigid lake to pull the infant to safety, KMOV-TV reports.

“One of our paramedics had jumped in the water already and retrieved an infant from the water,” Highland Fire Department Captain Brad Menz told the news station. “They did do CPR on the infant, took the child to the hospital, child was eventually flown to a St. Louis hospital.”

Menz said, “We had guys go into the water with cold suits and we were able to pull the vehicle out of the water.”

The baby boy’s condition isn’t known.

Campbell’s body was later found at the lake, at about 11:30 a.m., the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.


3. Campbell Gave Birth to Her Son in December & Has 6 Other Children

Campbell gave birth to her son in December, according to posts on her Facebook page.

“My baby boy turned 2 months old yesterday! He weighs 10 lbs 2oz. Hes gained an oz a day since birth!,” she wrote on February 11.

She has six other children and posted several photos of them on her page.


4. She Was an Illinois Native Who Worked in Accounting & Finance

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Cristy Campbell. (Glen Carbon Police)

Campbell was a native of Illinois. She attended Edwardsville High School in 2003 and studied accounting and finance at American InterContinental University, according to her Facebook page. She graduated from the online university in 2006 with a degree in business administration, accounting and finance.

She worked as a billing clerk at T-J Transport, a Highland, Illinois-based shipping company, according to her Linkedin profile.

Campbell also says she worked at the Lumiere Place Casino & Hotel in St. Louis, and previously at Accountemps, Domino’s Pizza, Scott Credit Union and Taco Bell.


5. A Neighbor Called Campbell & Her Husband ‘Nice People’

(Facebook)

A neighbor, Mitchell Langenhorst, told the Belleville News-Democrat that Campbell, her husband and children were a “normal” family.

“They were nice people,” another neighbor, Sherry Ricker, told the newspaper. “I was really surprised, but I’m glad the kids are OK.”

Glen Carbon Police Lieutenant Wayne White said police had responded to the home “several times” in the past for “day-to-day” calls, but didn’t provide any other details.

“Our hearts and our thoughts and our prayers go out to the entire family for their terrible loss,” White told the News-Democrat.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Campbell was divorced in Madison County, Illinois, in 2012 from a man she refers to as the father of her children on Facebook. In the months before the divorce, Campbell obtained an order of protection against her then-husband, alleging abuse. The order was dismissed about two weeks later, the newspaper reports.

Patrick Onesko: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Patrick Onesko, an assistant football coach at California University of Pennsylvania, is accused of sending “sexual” Snapchat messages to two teen boys, police say.

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Hassan Aden: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Hassan Aden. (Alexandria Police)

A retired North Carolina police chief says he was detained for more than an hour at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York after returning home from a family trip to Paris to celebrate his mother’s 80th birthday.

Former Greenville Police Chief Hassan Aden, 51, wrote a Facebook post on Saturday about the March 13 incident.

Aden said in the post he was held at JFK for an hour and a half while Customs and Border Patrol agents worked to “clear” him for entry to the United States:

I spent nearly 30 years serving the public in law enforcement. Since I retired as the Chief of Police in Greenville, NC, I founded a successful consulting firm that is involved in virtually every aspect of police and criminal justice reform. I interface with high level U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Court officials almost daily. Prior to this administration, I frequently attended meetings at the White House and advised on national police policy reforms-all that to say that If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone with attributes that can be ‘profiled.’ No one is safe from this type of unlawful government intrusion.

Aden said he has contacted his senators and others about what happened “to tell the story of what is happening in the United States of America.”

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Aden Says He Was Told His Name ‘Was Used as an Alias by Someone on Some Watch List’

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Hassan Aden in a photo taken during his trip to Paris. (Facebook)

Hassan Aden said in his Facebook post the incident occurred when he returned to the United States after a “lovely weekend in Paris celebrating my mom’s 80th birthday.” Aden’s flight from France landed at JFK in New York, and he was set to board a connecting flight there to take him home to Washington, D.C.

“I happily boarded my flight to return to the United States-something I have done countless times for 42 years after becoming a U.S. citizen. I had an enjoyable flight to New York’s JFK International Airport,” Aden wrote. “On all of my prior trips, I was greeted by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers with a warm smile and the usual, ‘Welcome home sir.’ Not this time.”

Aden said an officer named Chow “didn’t say anything” when he handed him his passport and “looked at me with a gruff expression and simply stated ‘are you traveling alone?’”

The former chief said he “knew this was a sign of trouble,” and when he answered yes, Officer Chow told him “let’s take a walk.”

Aden, in his explanation of what happened, said he was told someone on a watch list use dhis name as an alias:

I was taken to a back office which looked to be a re-purposed storage facility with three desks and signs stating, ‘Remain seated at all times’ and ‘Use of telephones strictly prohibited’ – my first sign that this was not a voluntary situation and, in fact, a detention. By this point I had informed CBP Officer Chow, the one that initially detained me, that I was a retired police chief and a career police officer AND a US citizen-he stated that he had no control over the circumstance and that it didn’t matter what my occupation was. He handed my passport off to another CBP officer who was working at one of the desks. The second CBP officer was indeed kind and appreciated the fact that I was a career police officer and tried to be helpful. He explained that my name was used as an alias by someone on some watch list. He stated that he sent my information to another agency to de-conflict and clear me, so that I could gain passage into the United States….my own country!!!

Aden said he watched at least 25 “foreign nationals” brought in and quickly released while he was in the detention center, and said he was shocked when Officer Chow told him he wasn’t being detained:

I pointed out the irony of this fact to the CBP officer that was attempting to ‘clear me for entry.’ I told him, as he avoided eye contact, how wrong this scenario was that the only US citizen, career US police officer and chief of police, out of the group of detainees, was the one with the longest unreasonable detention- I was held for an hour and a half. I asked several times, ‘how long of a detention do you consider to be reasonable?,’ the answer I was given by CBP Officer Chow was that I was not being detained-he said that with a straight face. I then replied, ‘But I’m not free to leave-how is that not a detention?’ I was in a room with no access to my mobile phone to communicate with my wife and family about what was happening, my movements were restricted to a chair and they had my passport………and he had the audacity to tell me I was not being detained. His ignorance of the law and the Fourth Amendment should disqualify him from being able to wear a CBP badge – but maybe fear and detention is the new mission of the CBP and the Constitution is a mere suggestion. I certainly was not free to leave. As former law enforcement, believe me, I agree that if certain criteria is met, a reasonable investigative detention is not inappropriate-the key here being ‘reasonable.’

Aden said an officer who was just beginning her shift “took interest in my situation” and helped get him out of the detention center.

“She aggressively asked (the other agency) for status updates and eventually called me over to tell me I was cleared to enter the United States of America. I promptly thanked her and filled her in on how impactful this situation was — she apologized and I was on my way after an hour and a half detention.”

Aden said he was able to make his connecting flight to D.C.

Sarah Fowlkes: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Sarah Madden Fowlkes, 27, a science teacher at Lockhart High School in Texas, is accused of being “engaged in sexual contact” with a 17-year-old student, police say.

Click here to read more


2. The Former Chief Says His Hour-and-a-Half Detention Left Him Feeling Vulnerable & ‘Unsure of the Future’ of the Country

Aden said in his Facebook post the incident “Left me feeling vulnerable and unsure of the future of a country that was once great and that I proudly called my own. This experience makes me question if this is indeed home. My freedoms were restricted, and I cannot be sure it won’t happen again, and that it won’t happen to my family, my children, the next time we travel abroad.”

He said, “This country now feels cold, unwelcoming, and in the beginning stages of a country that is isolating itself from the rest of the world – and its own people – in an unprecedented fashion. High levels of hate and injustice have been felt in vulnerable communities for decades-it is now hitting the rest of America.”

You can read his full Facebook post below:

In an interview with the Raleigh News & Observer, Aden said, “I support and respect the CPB mission and their very difficult job. I fully support reasonable detention, with the key word being ‘reasonable.’ When you get into an hour, an hour and a half, in any law enforcement situation, that’s unreasonable. The clock is ticking.”

Aden told the newspaper, “I wonder what would happen to a regular citizen with no idea about his rights? Bedside manners matter in situations like these. Every single day the way you treat people matters.”

James Harris Jackson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

James Harris Jackson, 28, of Baltimore, is accused of fatally stabbing a man, Timothy Caughman, with a sword in a racially motivated attack in New York City.

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3. Aden Retired as Greenville, North Carolina’s Police Chief 2 Years Ago After More Than 25 Years in Law Enforcement

Aden retired as the Greenville, North Carolina, police chief in December 2014, two years after he was hired to fill the role, according to WITN-TV.

His law enforcement career spanned also included 25 years working in Alexandria, Virginia, where he rose to the rank of deputy chief.

Aden worked in patrol, undercover vice and internal affairs while in Alexandria, according to the Washington Post.

“He is going to be missed. He builds good relationships. You can tell he really cares about the line officers,” Sergeant Mike Kochis, the former head of Alexandria’s police union, told the Post when Aden left for Greenville.

Dr. Ezekiel ‘Zeke’ Emanuel: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Ezekiel “Zeke” Emanuel, the architect of Obamacare, will be meeting with President Donald Trump, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Tom Price on Monday.

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4. He Now Works as a Senior Advisor at the Vera Institute of Justice in D.C. & Founded a Criminal Justice Reform Group

After retiring, Aden worked with the International Association of Police Chiefs in Washington, D.C. as its head of research, programs, and professional services.

He now works for the Vera Institute of Justice in D.C. as a senior advisor on policing, according to its website.

“Hassan will be involved in developing and implementing projects that aim to make the practice of policing better informed by community members’ needs,” the Vera Institute says.

Aden also formed a criminal justice reform organization, The Aden Group, which says on its website it, “exists to fill a gap in current Criminal Justice Reform efforts. Our consultants are experts in modern policing as well as being “Pracacademics” and well versed in research methods and evidence based solutions.

“We leverage the best and brightest thought leaders in the policing, and the larger criminal justice field to help your organization avoid and/or rebuild loss of community trust, legitimacy and support.”

Bryce Mezich & Austin Wright Callan: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Two men are accused of attacking California restaurant manager Garret Peterson, putting him into a coma, because he wouldn’t give them free pizza.

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5. He Is the Son of an Italian Mother & Somali Father & Went to High School in Brussels

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Hassan Aden and his wife. (Facebook)

Hassan Aden is the son of an Italian mother and a Somali father, according to the Washington Post.

He spent time living in Rome, Italy, as a young child, and moved to Alexandria, Virginia, when he was in the sixth grade, according to the Post. His stepmother worked for the State Department, and that job took his family back to Europe.

He spent his high school years in Belgium, and graduated from Brussels American High School in 1983. He returned to the United States for college, attending American University, and then became an police officer in Alexandria in 1987.

Aden returned to school in 2007, completing a master’s degree in public administration at American.

He is married and has two sons.

Rashawn Bolton: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Rashawn Bolton, Darrelle Revis’ childhood friend and high school football teammate, testified he threw the knockout punches in an incident that led to Revis’ arrest.

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Sarah Fowlkes: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Sarah Madden Fowlkes in a mugshot released by Lockhart Police.

A 27-year-old Texas high school science teacher has been accused of being “engaged in sexual contact” with a 17-year-old student.

Sarah Madden Fowlkes has been suspended from her job at Lockhart High School after she was arrested Monday, the school district announced.

“Lockhart parents entrust their children to us every day, and it is something we do not take lightly. Student safety is the district’s most important priority,” Superintendent Susan Bohn said in a statement. “As soon as we learned of the report, we acted swiftly to involve law enforcement and (Child Protective Services) to conduct a thorough investigation. The district does not and will not tolerate any improper communication or contact between a teacher and child.”

The school district said it learned about the “improper relationship” Fowlkes was having with a student on March 10.

Fowlkes is charged with engaging in an improper relationship between an educator and student, a second-degree felony.

Her attorney, Jason Nassour, told KXAS-TV his client is innocent, and that’s why she’s smiling in her mugshot.

“You’ve got a young lady who was arrested on the statement of a 17-year-old kid with no corroborating evidence. This isn’t a guilty person sitting there like they just got caught,” Nassour told the news station. “When everything’s fleshed out it won’t be as it appears.”

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Fowlkes Is Accused of Engaging in ‘Sexual Content With the Intent to Arouse or Gratify the Sexual Desire of the Student’

(Facebook)

Sarah Fowlkes engaged in “sexual content with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the student,” during encounters with the student, Lockhart Police told the Hays Free Press.

According to police, detectives determined Fowlkes and the 17-year-old male student were in contact in person and “by message” with the teacher.

Police said in court documents that “Investigation into the incident led the case detective to a male student aged 17 named Michael (pseudonym). Interviews determined that Michael had been in contact in person and by message with an educator in Lockhart High School identified as Sarah Madden Fowlkes. … Michael revealed that during the course of their encounters, (Fowlkes) touched Michael’s genitals with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of Michael and that Michael made contact with the defendant’s breasts, with the intent to arouse of gratify the sexual desire of the defendant.”

You can read the arrest affidavit below:

“On behalf of the district and Board of Trustees, I want to assure parents we do not tolerate this kind of behavior and are fully cooperating with law enforcement and CPS. We will always take swift action to make sure concerns are properly investigated and actions taken to ensure student safety,” Superintendent Susan Bohn said in a statement. “I also want to thank the LPD for their steady and unwavering support of our school district and commitment to the safety of our students and staff.”

Lockhart Police told KXAN-TV the case is the first time they’ve investigated a teacher for having an inappropriate relationship with a student.

“Seventeen years old is obviously older, but at the same time it doesn’t make anything right,” Detective Jesse Bell told the news station. “If the kid is in school, parents trust the school to take care of their kids so it’s definitely not right — that a teacher in a position of power over a student be able to take advantage of a student.”

The age of consent in Texas is 17, but state law makes it illegal for teachers to have sexual contact with students of any age.

The school district sent a letter to parents on Monday to notify them of the “upsetting news” about Fowlkes’ arrest. You can read the letter below or by clicking here:

Bohn said, “Every day, you trust your children to our care, and it is a responsibility we do not take lightly. As a parent of a Lockhart ISD student, I join you in feeling anger and disappointment in what happened.As an administrator, I will always take swift action against anyone who would violate the sacred trust between students and educators.”

She said, “The campus will have counselors available to meet with any student who needs or wants support.”

Sarah Fowlkes Photos: Pictures of Arrested Texas Teacher

Sarah Fowlkes, 27, a teacher at Lockhart High School in Texas, is accused of having an improper sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student. See photos of her here.

Click here to read more


2. She Taught Anatomy, Physiology & Environmental Systems at Lockhart High School After Previously Teaching at an Elementary School

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(Facebook)

Fowlkes taught anatomy, physiology and environmental systems at Lockhart High School, a job she started in September, according to a now-deleted page on the school district’s website.

“This is my third year as a teacher, my previous two years were spent at Plum Creek Elementary where I was a third and fifth grade science and social studies teacher,” she wrote on the school website. “I have very high expectations of myself as a teacher as well as of my students and I hope that this will be a formula for achievement. I want this to be an enjoyable year for all of my students but also a productive, challenging and encouraging year with success for everyone.”

(Facebook)

School district Superintendent Susan Bohn said in a letter to parents, “Fowlkes will not return to the school district.”

The district also said it would also be “sending notice of the conduct to the State Board for Educator Certification.”

The school district said Fowlkes, who has been suspended, was hired in October 2014.

Jonathan Vejarano & Joshua Williams: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Two men have been charged in the mysterious 2015 murder of 21-year-old Heather Ciccone in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, police say.

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3. She Grew Up in Texas & Graduated From Saint Edwards University

sarah fowlkes, sarah fowlkes facebook, sarah madden fowlkes facebook

(Facebook)

Fowlkes grew up in Dripping Springs, Texas, about an hour away from Lockhart, and about 30 minutes away from Austin.

(Facebook)

She graduated from Saint Edwards University in Austin with a degree in biology, according to the school district’s website.

(Facebook)

“I started my teaching certification at the University of Texas at Austin under the UTeach program and completed my certification with A+ Texas Teachers Alternative Certification,” she wrote on the school district website. “I am certified to teach Early Childhood through 6th grade Generalist and 7th through 12th grade Sciences.”

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A 41-year-old man previously suspected in two murders is accused of strangling 19-year-old Kelsey Tennant during a burglary in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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4. She Has Been Married to Her Husband Since 2013 & She Celebrated Her 27th Birthday a Day Before Her Arrest

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Sarah Fowlkes has been married since 2013. (Facebook)

Fowlkes has been married since October 2013, according to her Facebook page. She and her husband live in New Braunfels, Texas, about 40 minutes outside of Lockhart. Her husband is also a native of Dripping Springs.

Her maiden name is Madden, according to online records.

She celebrated her 27th birthday on March 19, a day before her arrest. She updated her Instagram profile picture (her account is private) with a photo showing her celebrating the birthday with her husband at a restaurant.

sarah fowlkes instagram, sarah fowlkes photos

(Instagram)

Parents and former Lockhart High School students told KEYE-TV on Monday that they are surprised and disappointed by the arrest.

Some told the news station that social media doesn’t help teachers keep things professional with students.

“I feel like it makes it easier for an accidental relationship for that to happen,” said Joe Chapa. He said, “I just feel like the teacher should know better than to do that.”

River Morgan, a 2016 graduate, told the news station, “It shocked me. … I think maybe there’s not as much of a distance as there should be. It should be more professional.”

James Harris Jackson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

James Harris Jackson, 28, of Baltimore, is accused of fatally stabbing a man, Timothy Caughman, with a sword in a racially motivated attack in New York City.

Click here to read more


5. She Was Booked Into the Caldwell County Jail & Later Released

sarah madden fowlkes, sarah fowlkes mugshot

Sarah Madden Fowlkes in a booking photo released by Lockhart Police.

Sarah Fowlkes turned herself in at the Lockhart Police Department early Monday morning and was booked into the Caldwell County Jail, authorities said.

Online records show she has been released from custody. It is not clear when she is scheduled to appear in court. It is also not known if she has hired an attorney.

A 29-year-old Westlake, Texas, high school teacher, Haeli Way, was sentenced on March 10, 2017, to probation after pleading guilty to two counts of the same charge Fowlkes faces. She was given 10 years deferred adjudicated probation and did not have to spend any time in jail.

There were a record number of arrests of teachers for “inappropriate conduct” with students in 2016 in Texas, according to KXAN-TV. The Texas Education Agency said there were 222 cases of “inappropriate relationships” reported in 2016, the most since the agency began tracking in 2009.

“When we are dealing with cases that involve student safety we will do our very best to make sure that that educator is not back in a Texas public classroom,” Lauren Callahan with the Texas Education Agency, told KXAN. “And that we are able to sanction them in a way that they don’t hold that certificate. Again, everything is case by case.”

According to the news station, a Texas lawmaker, Rep. Jason Isaac, a Republican from Fowlkes’ hometown of Dripping Springs, introduced a law in February 2017 to crack down on the issue.

“School should be a safe place for students to go and learn and prepare for their future,” Isaac told KXAN, “and instead we are putting them in harms way.” The law would make sure a teacher caught in an inappropriate relationship would lose his or her teaching certificate.

Isaac said it would stop the practice of what he called, “passing the trash,” of teachers caught in wrongdoing resigning and taking a new job elsewhere.

“There are reports of teachers moving up to four different school districts and having continued repeated inappropriate relationships with a minor,” Isaac said. “We need to stop passing the trash from one school district to another. And God forbid this happens, but if it does a teacher should lose their teaching certificate and not be permitted to work in public schools or private schools or be around children period.”

School superintendent Susan Bohn asked parents to talk to their children about the arrest.

“If any student or parent has information about this situation, please contact the Lockhart Police Department at 512-398-4401,” Bohn said.

Alexandria Vera: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A 24-year-old Texas middle school teacher is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old student every day for several months. Police say she got pregnant and had an abortion.

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Read more about Sarah Fowlkes in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com:

Sarah Fowlkes: Fotos de Profesora Acusada de Tener Sexo con Estudiante de 17 Años

Sarah Fowlkes, de 27 años, profesora de Lockhart High School en Texas, es acusada de tener una relación sexual inapropiada…

Click here to read more

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Jonathan Vejarano & Joshua Williams: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Joshua Williams, left, and Jonathan Vejarano. (Spotsylvania County Sheriff)

Two people have been arrested in the murder of Heather Ciccone 15 months after she was shot in the back of the head while she sat in her car in the driveway of a stranger’s house, police say.

Police announced charges against Jonathan Julian Vejarano, 28, and Joshua Christopher Williams, 29, on March 21, 2017, in the mysterious case that stunned Ciccone’s northern Virginia community.

Ciccone, 21, was found dead about 11 p.m. on December 6, 2015, off Piney Branch Road in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, authorities said.

She had complained about a female stalker in the weeks before her death and said she had received death threats, but that woman has not been arrested. It is not known if that was connected to Ciccone’s death.

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Heather Ciccone was found shot dead in a car in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. (Facebook)

Vejarano and Williams, who both have lengthy criminal records, are facing first-degree murder charges, the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star reports.

Spotsylvania County Sheriff Roger Harris said in a press release they would not be discussing the details of the case. A motive for the killing has not yet been made public.

Police have not said if they knew Ciccone or how they knew her if they did.

Both men have been in jail for several months on unrelated charges.

Here’s what you need to know about Ciccone, the suspects and the case:


1. Ciccone Told Her Mother She Was Going to Help a Friend Whose Car Had Broken Down & Had Recently Talked About Being Stalked by a Woman

Heather Ciccone’s mother, Stacy, told NBC Washington her daughter said she was going out to help a friend whose car had broken down. She left their home at about 9:30 p.m., and never returned. She was found dead at about 11 p.m., police said.

“Why would you take my little girl away from me?,” Stacy Ciccone asked during an interview with the news station.

Her father, Dennis, told the news station, “It’s hard to put in perspective until it really happens to you.”

There is no apparent connection between Ciccone and the driveway where she was found dead.

Police posted photos of Ciccone’s car and asked that anyone who saw it before the shooting to contact them. The photos show that “I ♡ U” was written on the back window of the car, with a winking smiley face below it:

Heather Ciccone car

(Spotsylvania County Sheriff)

Ciccone died of a single gunshot wound to the back of the head, according to court documents obtained by the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. The newspaper reports that police found “lots of blood” in the 2010 Kia where Ciccone was shot.

Ciccone had complained to her family and on Facebook about a female stalker in the weeks before her death, but it is not known if that is connected to the case.

heather ciccone suspects

(Facebook)

On December 4, in her last public post, she wrote, “I hate when a female gets her friend to request me to lurk on my s**t. Like I see the girl who don’t like me in your pictures with you. Tell her to man up and send her own request.”

She wrote on December 3, “I swear I give up … I’m DONE playing nice.” Earlier that day she wrote, “I finally see the BIG picture. It hurts but from here on out, it’ll only get easier for ME.”

On December 2, Ciccone wrote, “I swear this bitch has NO f*****g life.” On that post, her sister commented, “What did she do now? You need to take your tail down to the magistrates and file harassment and stalking charges!”

Police have not yet said how they connected the two suspects, Joshua Williams and Jonathan Vejarano, to the case.

Williams and Vejarano were arrested after they were indicted on murder charges by a grand jury, the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

“For the past fifteen months detectives have worked hard with the assistance of the several local jurisdictions to bring the case before a grand jury,” the sheriff’s office said. “Since this is an ongoing investigation, we will not be discussing evidence presented to the grand jury.”

The two men were both charged with first-degree murder. They were also indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and use of a firearm in commission of a felony. Vejarano was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Vejarano and Williams are in custody at local jails, the sheriff’s office said. It is not known when they are due to appear in court on the murder charges.

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A 41-year-old man previously suspected in two murders is accused of strangling 19-year-old Kelsey Tennant during a burglary in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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2. Williams Was Accused of Abducting His Son in May 2016, Leading to an Amber Alert & Felony Domestic Violence Charges

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Joshua Williams. (Spotsylvania County Sheriff)

Joshua Williams was accused of abducting his 3-year-old son in May 2016, leading to an Amber Alert and felony charges when he was caught, WVIR-TV reported at the time. Williams threatened to harm the boy, but the child was found safe, the news station reports.

Police said Williams assaulted his son’s mother, and took the boy, putting him in his car with only a diaper on and driving away, WRC-TV reported. The boy was later returned to his grandmother’s house by a stranger, police said.

“He’s made threats against the child — to either harm or kill — in the past,” Captain Jeffery Pearce of the Spotsylvania County Sheriff’s Office told WRC at the time.

The boy’s mother was hospitalized as a result of the assault, police said.

He has been in custody at the Central Virginia Regional Jail since his arrest in the Amber Alert case. Williams was charged with assault and battery on a family member, third offense, in that case, a felony charge that is still pending, court records show. A trial in that case is scheduled to begin on March 24 in Spotsylvania County Circuit Court.

Williams criminal record dates back to 2005, according to Spotsylvania County court records. He was arrested that year on charges of malicious wounding, assault and battery and disorderly conduct.

He pleaded guilty in 2006 to malicious wounding and was sentenced to five years in prison, with two years suspended. The other charges in that case were dropped.

Williams was convicted of possession of a controlled substance in 2009 and sentenced to two months in jail. He was also convicted at the same time of attempted escape and sentenced to six months in prison on that charge.

He also has convictions for possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, probation violations and failure to comply with a judicial order, according to court records.

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3. Vejarano Has Convictions for Receiving Stolen Property & Probation Violations

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Jonathan Vejarano. (Spotsylvania County)

Jonathan Vejarano has a criminal record dating back to 2009, according to Virginia court records. He was arrested in August 2009 on felony charges of receiving stolen property worth more than $200.

Vejarano pleaded guilty in Spotsylvania County Circuit Court to the felony charge and was sentenced to five years in prison, with all but six months suspended.

Since that arrest, Vejarano was convicted four times of violating his probation, court records show. He was sentenced to 90 days in jail in 2012 for one of those violations and nine months in jail for another in 2014.

He was arrested in September 2016 on a fifth probation violation and has been in custody since that arrest. He has a hearing scheduled in that case on March 28.

He also has convictions for driving with a suspended license and possession of marijuana.

Vejarano is being held at the Rappahannock Regional Jail.

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4. Ciccone Was a High School Basketball Player, a Server at Red Robin & a ‘Great Aunt’

Heather Ciccone, Heather Ciccone Spotsylvania, Heather Ciccone dead, Heather Ciccone murder

(Facebook)

Ciccone played high school basketball at Chancellor High School in Fredericksburg until 11th grade, when she stopped playing because of her job. The school posted a message on Twitter about Ciccone’s death:

Rod Crooks, the athletic director at the high school, told the Free-Lance Star, “It’s just pretty much caught everybody off guard, especially here in Spotsylvania County.”

J.P. Gibbons, one of her coaches, told the newspaper Ciccone had an “infectious smile,” and was a solid basketball player, scoring 21 points during one game her sophomore year. He said she was always pointed in a positive direction.

“She was driven both on and off the basketball court,” Gibbons told the newspaper. “I expected her to do some great things.”

Ciccone later studied at Germanna Community College.

Heather Ciccone, Heather Ciccone Spotsylvania, Heather Ciccone dead, Heather Ciccone murder

(Facebook)

Ciccone worked as a server at Red Robin in Fredericksburg.

Her sister, Courtney, told WTVR-TV that Heather was a great aunt to her niece and nephews.

“She had such a good, bubbly personality and smile,” Courtney told the news station. “She was the sweetest most caring person you’d meet.”

Courtney Ciccone posted on Facebook in the days after Ciccone was killed, pleading for help in finding her sister’s killer.

“Please help us find who did this selfish, unthinkable act of hate! She was the sweetest most caring person you’d meet. Someone murdered her in cold blood and left her to die alone! Words can’t even describe what they are putting our family through and what her family is going to miss out on,” she wrote.

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5. Ciccone’s Mother Says the Suspects ‘Will Have to Suffer the Wrath They Chose’

Heather Ciccone, Heather Ciccone Spotsylvania, Heather Ciccone dead, Heather Ciccone murder

(Facebook)

Ciccone’s case has been unsolved since she was found in her car two years ago, but her family said they kept hope and police did not let the mystery go cold.

“Her execution style murder was a shock for this community. Heather was a loved daughter, sister, friend and (co-worker) of Spotsylvania. The last 15 months have been sheer HELL! This is something (you’re) never taught or learn about in life is loss, loss due to a heinous crime,” her mother, Stacy, said on the Justice for Heather Facebook page started after her death. “The (outpouring) of this community coming together gave us faith and now today the suspects identities will be released. They, along with their families will have to suffer the wrath they chose.

“I can’t thank everyone enough for being (there) for myself, my kids, my parents, my sister & her kids in this tragic time of our lives. Heather you are and will always be missed baby girl,” Stacy Ciccone wrote.

Sheriff Roger Harris said in the press release he “would like to personally recognize the dedication and persistence of the investigative team that brought us to today.”

The release name the Spotsylvania Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the Fredericksburg City Police Department, the Stafford County Sheriff’s Office, the King George County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia State Police for “their valuable assistance and resources during this lengthy investigation.”

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Greg Epperson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Greg Epperson. (Tulsa County Jail)

A Tulsa man accused of strangling a 19-year-old woman during a burglary was previously suspected in two murders, but was never prosecuted in either case because of a lack of evidenceKOTV reports.

Gregory Epperson, 41, was charged with murder in the death of Kelsey Tennant, who came home from work Monday afternoon to find him burglarizing her home, according to police. Epperson beat and then choked Tennant to death, police said.

He is also accused of attacking Tennant’s boyfriend and trying to shoot him when he also came home, police said.

kelsey tennant, kelsey tennant tulsa

Kelsey Tennant. (Facebook)

In 2015, Epperson was charged in the 2008 cold case murder of Tulsa car dealer Ray Johnson, KOTV reports. The charges were dropped last year because the district attorney determined there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him.

Epperson is also suspected in the unsolved killing of his landlord, John Baker, but has never been charged in that case, police said.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Police Say Epperson, Who Didn’t Know the Victim, Continued Rummaging Through the House While Tennant Was Dying & Was Later Caught in a Neighboring Apartment

(Facebook)

Police say Greg Epperson broke into Kelsey Tennant’s apartment in south Tulsa while she was at work on Monday, KOKI-TV reports.

When she came home from work about 3 p.m., she walked in on Epperson inside the apartment, and he attacked her, beating her and then strangling her, police said. As Tennant was dying, Epperson continued to rummage around the apartment, KFOR-TV reports.

Her boyfriend, Riley Allen, became concerned when Tennant didn’t answer his calls, and came to her apartment to check on her. Epperson also attacked Allen and tried to shoot him, according to police. Allen was wounded and Epperson fled, police said.

Police and medical personnel responded to the apartment and took both Allen and Tennant to the hospital. Tennant was in critical condition with no brain activity when she was rushed to the hospital, and she was later pronounced dead about 11:50 p.m. Allen was not seriously injured.

According to police, Epperson was found in a neighboring apartment and was arrested about 11 p.m.

Investigators say there are no ties between Epperson and the victims. He is a friend of their neighbor, KOKI reports.

Tulsa Police Sergeant Dave Walker told the Tulsa World the case is believed to be an “an interrupted burglary.”

It is one of three homicides that occurred in Tulsa on Monday in an eight-hour period and is the 16th in the city this year.

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2. Epperson Told a Witness He Killed Ray Johnson, His Cousin’s Husband, in 2008 After They ‘Got Into It’

(Tulsa County Jail)

Epperson was arrested in 2015 and charged with the 2008 murder of Tulsa car dealer Ray Johnson, according to KOTV.

“Epperson, we believe, shot and killed Mr. Johnson, put him in the trunk of a car then dumped his body in a creek,” said Tulsa Police Homicide Sergeant Dave Walker told the news station on Tuesday.

But the case was dropped by prosecutors last year because of a lack of evidence. Epperson was released from custody in January 2016, just before a trial in the case was set to begin.

“We didn’t feel like there was sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, with the evidence we had,” Assistant District Attorney John David Luton told the Tulsa World in 2016. “And if we did take it in front of a jury and they found him not guilty, we’d be forever barred against prosecuting him.”

Johnson disappeared on September 11, 2008, and his body has never been found, the Tulsa World reports.

Epperson was arrested after a witness came forward and claimed he had been forced by Epperson to help dispose of Johnson’s body after he was killed.

Johnson, 34, was the husband of Epperson’s cousin, according to the Tulsa World. Epperson told police Johnson was also a friend of his from school, but denied killing him. He refused to give a DNA sample whne questioned.

ray johnson, ray johnson tulsa

Ray Johnson.

Johnson’s wife reported him missing on September 12, 2008, after he failed to come home. She went to his car dealership and found his car, and told police it smelled like bleach and items in the trunk had blood on them, the World reports.

A witness, Jarid Taylor, later told police Epperson put a gun to his head and forced him to help dispose of Johnson’s body. Taylor said he had gone to Epperson’s house, and Epperson told him he needed help after he “got into it with his boy.”

According to court documents obtained by KOKI-TV, Taylor told police he saw Epperson holding a bleach bucket and spraying down his driveway with a garden house. He then saw blood on the ground and a body on the side of Epperson’s house, with a bloody hammer laying next to it.

Taylor told investigators he and Epperson put Johnson’s body into the trunk of a car and dumped him in a creek.

According to police, a familial DNA sample taken from Johnson’s son matched blood found in the vehicle Taylor told investigators they used to dispose of Johnson’s body. The sample also matched blood on items found on items in the car, police said.

Luton, the assistant district attorney, told the Tulsa World in 2016 that they decided to halt the prosecution because they were waiting for additional DNA testing and hoped to speak to additional witnesses.

“The prosecution of Gregory Jerome Epperson for the death of Ray Johnson was discontinued due to significant concerns about the lack of corroborating evidence to convict him,” District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said in a statement on Tuesday, after Epperson’s arrest in the latest homicide case.

Kunzweiler said the statements by Taylor, a felon and associate of Johnson and Epperson, couldn’t be sufficiently corroborated by independent evidence.

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3. He Was the Last Person to Talk to John Baker, His Landlord, Before Baker Was Killed in 2010 & Dumped in a Lake, Police Say

(Tulsa County Jail)

Epperson is also a suspect in another unsolved homicide, the 2010 death of John Baker, KOTV reports.

Baker’s body was found in Lake Keystone. Epperson has never been charged in the case.

“The last person to talk to Mr. Baker was Epperson and Epperson was living in a rental house of Baker’s,” Tulsa Police Sergeant Dave Walker told KOTV. But there was no physical evidence to connect Epperson to the case, Walker said.

john baker tulsa

John Baker.

Baker, 66, disappeared in November 2010, KOTV reported at the time.

His truck was later found abandoned, and his body was located in January 2011 at the Keystone Dam.

Police said Baker was an avid poker player and was known to carry large amounts of cash. His daughter, Carmen Matherly, said in 2014 the family was still hoping to find his killer.

“The holidays are terrible, but every day is. I wake up and his picture is right there. There’s not a day, in the back of my mind, I don’t try to play detective myself and try to find this person that’s out there,” she told KOTV. “”I know there’s people out there that know the real truth to this case, and I beg and plead everyday and pray that they would have the heart to come forward.”

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4. Epperson Is Being Held Without Bail on Charges Including First-Degree Murder & Burglary

(Facebook)

Gregory Jerome Epperson is being held at the Tulsa County Jail without bail on charges of first-degree murder, assault and battery with intent to kill, first-degree burglary and assault and battery, online records show.

He is scheduled to appear in court on March 28. It is not clear if he has an attorney.

While Epperson has never been convicted of murder, he has a lengthy criminal record. His previous convictions include second-degree burglary, obstructing an officer, driving under suspension and transporting an open container.

He was most recently arrested in December 2016 for failing to pay court costs.

Epperson is a Tulsa resident and has two daughters, according to his Facebook page.

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5. Tennant Was Remembered by Her Sister as a ‘Special Person’ Who ‘Loved So Many People & Was Loved by So Many People’

kelsey tennant, kelsey tennant facebook, kelsey tennant greg epperson, kelsey tennant tulsa murder

Kelsey Tennant with her boyfriend, Riley Allen. (Facebook)

Kelsey Tennant had a sassy, stubborn side and the most contagious smile and laugh, her sister, Courtney Jefferson, told KJRH-TV.

“Everybody who met her never had a negative thing to say about her,” Jefferson told the news station. “She loved so many people, and was loved by so many people.”

Tennant was a recent graduate of Broken Arrow High School. She worked at Metro Appliances & More, according to her Facebook page.

She and her boyfriend, Riley Allen, had recently celebrated their second anniversary, her family said. They grew up together in Broken Arrow, about 20 minutes outside of Tulsa, and both performed with the Broken Arrow Pride band. Tennant was in the color guard.

Allen wrote on Facebook, “She will always be missed my sweet sweet princess I love you Kelsey Sue.”

Tennant’s sister told the news station, “Their relationship gave me hope that there are still some very special people out there. I know that he loved her very much and did anything for her.”

Jefferson told the news station her sister was adventurous and selfless, loved riding four-wheelers and go-karts, and often took care of her 2-year-old nephew, Jefferson’s son. She also went on many mission trips with her church.

“She was a special person,” Jefferson said. “Anybody that had the opportunity to meet her was very blessed.”

kelsey tennant facebook

(Facebook)

Jefferson wrote a heart-breaking Facebook post about her sister:

We are devastated to have to put this into words but my sister, Kelsey Tennant, went to Jesus last night. She went home from work yesterday for lunch and was robbed, strangled and left for dead. She was unconscious and not breathing. Her bf Riley Allen came as quick as he could because he knew something was wrong and was attacked as well. He is ok and my sister was admitted to the hospital yesterday. She fought hard like the stubborn self she is but she became an angel last night at 11:50pm. I sit here as I type this and wonder how you are supposed to post something like this. My mom and Dad and I are so thankful for everyone who has already reached out to us and thankful for all the prayers that went up last night. We know that she had people from across the nation praying for her and so many people that love and cherish her. Each time we received a text or knew people were praying, we made sure that she knew she was loved and people were fighting along with her spiritually. We are glad her sweet spirit is now with Jesus and the rest of our family that has passed before and most importantly that she is no longer suffering. Please continue to keep our family in your prayers as this next season/year/years will be extremely difficult for us. Life is so precious and sweet. Please take a moment, say a prayer for us, hug your loved ones close, and tell them you love them.

Tennant’s family is still planning her funeral. They said they are relying on the outpouring of support they have received from the community.

“It’s great because she’s an amazing human being and never deserved this,” Jefferson said through tears during her interview with KJRH-TV. “We are glad that she is now with Jesus and with all the other angels that have gone on before her.”

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James Harris Jackson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

James Harris Jackson is seen in a surveillance photo released by the NYPD.

A Maryland white supremacist is accused of fatally stabbing a 66-year-old man with a sword in a racially motivated attack in Midtown Manhattan, the NYPD says.

James Harris Jackson, 28, traveled from Baltimore to New York City to target black men, the New York Daily News reports. Jackson turned himself in on Wednesday after the Tuesday night stabbing on West 39th Street near 9th Avenue, the Daily News reports.

Authorities say he planned more killings and told police the attack was “practice” for a Times Square bloodbath, DNAInfo reports.

Assistant Police Chief William Aubry told reporters, “We’re very fortunate that it stopped at one, and it wasn’t more.”

The victim, Timothy Caughman, who is black, was attacked by Jackson about 11:30 p.m., police said.

Jackson has been charged with second-degree murder, and additional hate crime-related charges could also be added and the murder charge could be upgraded to first-degree.

“The defendant was motivated purely by hatred,” Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi told NBC New York. “As this was an act most likely of terrorism.”

Police Commissioner James O’Neill said at a press conference Wednesday that the attack was “clearly racially motivated,” calling it “extremely distressing.”

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Jackson Was Seen on Video Running From the Scene While Holding the Knife After Stabbing Caughman Multiple Times in the Chest, Police Say

James Harris Jackson was caught on surveillance video running away from the scene Tuesday night. The NYPD released the video, which you can watch above, in hopes of identifying him.

According to the New York Daily News, police said Jackson stabbed Timothy Caughman in the chest multiple times. The victim could be heard saying, “What are you doing?” during the attack, the Daily News reports.

Jackson surrendered to police at the NYPD’s substation in Times Square about 1 a.m., sources told the Daily News.

“You need to arrest me. I have the knife in my coat,” Jackson told officers.

Police found the knife used in the attack, the New York Post reports.

He was carrying the wanted flier with his photo on it and told the officers, “I’m the person you’re looking for,” PIX 11 reports.

The news station described the weapon as a “26-inch black sword,” which you can see above.

Police said the surveillance video “proves that the victim was attacked because he was black.”

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2. The Victim, Bleeding From His Wounds, Stumbled Into a Nearby Police Station After He Was Stabbed

timothy caughman, timothy caughman new york

Timothy Caughman. (Twitter)

Timothy Caughman was stabbed multiple times in the chest, and while bleeding from his wounds, stumbled to the Midtown South Precinct, where he collapsed, PIX 11 reports.

Caughman, 66, was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, where he later died.

Police said Caughman was rummaging through garbage outside 462 Ninth Avenue when he was attacked by Jackson at random.

“Our victim happened to be going through trash on the sidewalk,” Assistant Chief William Aubry told reporters. “There was nobody else around.”

Jackson had been wandering around the city since he arrived last Friday and had stayed in a Midtown hotel, police say. He was seen on video stalking another black man, following him around, but did not attack him, according to police.

Police said that after the attack on Caughman, Jackson went to the bathroom of a nearby restaurant and washed the blood off of himself from the killing.

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3. Police Say Jackson Is a Member of a Hate Group in Maryland & Came to New York ‘to Harm Male Blacks’

Jackson is a member of a documented hate group in Maryland, the New York Daily News reports.

He told detectives came to New York City from Baltimore “to harm black males,” specifically those who date white women, according to police.

According to the New York Post, Jackson told officers he turned himself in before he attacked an interracial couple in Times Square early Wednesday morning.

Jackson said he became enraged when he saw a white woman with a black man, according to the Post, and surrendered to police to avoid killing again.

A former neighbor told the Associated Press that Jackson was studying to be lawyer, but skipped out on a Maryland apartment after falling several months behind on rent.

Marcus Dagan, who said he informally manages the Baltimore building where he and Jackson lived in 2014 and 2015, told the AP that Jackson is “one of those people that you wish you never met.”

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4. Jackson Is an Army Veteran & Reportedly Wrote a Manifesto Declaring His Racist Views

james harris jackson baltimore, james harris jackson army

A screenshot from surveillance video released by the NYPD.

Jackson wrote a manifesto declaring his racist views, the New York Post reports. Details from that manifesto have not been made public.

According to PIX 11, Jackson came to New York City on Friday, taking a Bolt Bus from Baltimore. Jackson chose Manhattan because “it’s the media capital of the world and he wanted to make a statement,” police told the reporters, DNAInfo reports.

Jackson is an Army veteran and was deployed to Afghanistan, according to PIX 11. He told police he has been “harboring (racist) feelings for quite some time,” possibly up to 10 years, police said.

“He knew what he was doing when he was coming up here,” NYPD’s Chief of Detectives for Manhattan William Aubry said at a press conference. “It is believed he was specifically intending to target male blacks. It’s been well over 10 years that he has been harboring his hate towards blacks.”

Jackson had been staying in a Midtown hotel since arriving in the city on Friday. Police said they are speaking to Jackson’s family and associates in Maryland and are looking into possible social media profiles as they continue to investigate.

He received an honorable discharge from the Army in 2012 as a private, the New York Post reports. Along with his time serving in Afghanistan, Jackson was also stationed in Germany.

Police told the Associated Press Jackson served from March 2009 to August 2012 and was a military intelligence analyst. He was deployed to Afghanistan from December 2010 to November 2011.

Jackson studied at Ohio Wesleyan University in 2007, but it’s not clear if he graduated, the Post reported.

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5. Caughman Called Himself a Can, Bottle & Autograph Collector in New York City With Dreams of Visiting California

Timothy Caughman, who appears to have been targeted at random, lived in transitional housing, Praxis Housing Initiatives, on West 36th Street, the New York Daily News reports.

Caughman had an active Twitter profile, where he described himself as a “can and bottle recycler,” and “autograph collector” in New York City. He said he would “love to visit California.”

He has several tweets showing him with celebrities and of the autographs he received from them:

Caughman was a longtime fan of actress Shari Headley, who tweeted about his “senseless” death on Thursday:

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Breana Harmon Talbott: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Breana Harmon Talbott. (Denison Police)

A Texas teen has admitted she fabricated a kidnapping and gang rape that created fear in her community and sparked outrage in far right and white supremacist social media circles, police say.

“The Denison Police Department has determined that the alleged abduction and sexual assault case reported on March 8, 2017 was a hoax,” police said Wednesday in a press release.

Breana Harmon Talbott, 19, was charged with making a false report to a peace officer, the Denison Police said.

“This alleged crime as reported by Breana Harmon Talbott made many in the community fearful there were individuals abducting women,” Chief Jay Burch said in a statement. “Even though we know the story to be a hoax, there is still potential damage to the reputation of the City of Denison and the Texoma region as many may remember the reported crime but not the outcome. That is unfortunate.”

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Talbott Showed Up at a Local Church Dressed Only in a Shirt, Bra & Underwear While Bloody & Covered in Scratches After Being Reported Missing

Breana Talbott was reported missing by her then-fiance. (Facebook)

Breana Talbott was reported missing on March 8, 2017, by her then-fiance, Samuel Hollingsworth, the Denison Police Department said in a press release. He called police about 5:30 p.m.

He told police Talbott’s vehicle was in the parking lot of the Creekmore Apartments on Texoma Parkway “with the vehicle door open, her phone, keys and a shoe nearby.”

Police said they “mobilized all available resources to begin looking for Ms. Talbott.”

That same night, a bloodied Talbott walked into a nearby church “wearing only a shirt, bra and underwear. She told witnesses at the church she had been kidnapped and sexually assaulted in the woods behind the church. There were also visible cuts and/or scratches on her body.”

Talbott told police she had been kidnapped by three black men in an SUV as she was getting out of her car in the parking lot of the apartment complex.

Saul Marquez, the pastor of the New Creation Church where Talbott was found, told KDFW-TV, “She was in bad shape. She was bleeding. They had to bring some sheets to cover her up and try to calm her down. As a church, we’re here for a reason. It’s a good thing she found some refuge here.”

Police said they do not believe anyone else knew it was a hoax.

“Initially we did question two or three other people close to her that we thought may have knowledge,” Police Chief Jay Burch said at a press conference, the Herald Democrat reports. “From our investigation we’re pretty certain that no one else had any information that this was a hoax.”

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2. She Told Police She Was Abducted & Gang-Raped by ‘3 Black Males’ Wearing Ski Masks, but Police Couldn’t Confirm She Was Assaulted

(Facebook)

Talbott told police she was abducted and then gang-raped by “three black males” wearing ski masks, the Denison Police Department said.

“She claimed the suspects took her in a black SUV to a wooded area nearby where 2 suspects raped her while the 3rd suspect held her down,” police said.

She also claimed her attackers cut her from head to toe to leave her scarred.

“After getting the victim’s information, she was taken to Texoma Medical Center for examination. In the meantime, DPD patrol officers, detectives, and the K-9 team scoured the area where Talbott says she was taken and assaulted. Several pieces of evidence were gathered and more of Talbott’s clothing and other personal effects were recovered,” police said.

Talbott’s mother posted about the alleged assault on her Facebook page:

(Facebook)

Police said they quickly had doubts about Talbott’s story.

“Our team of detectives, led by John Watt, did an outstanding job in the case,” Police Chief Jay Burch said. “Almost from the beginning, we had doubts in Breana Harmon Talbott’s story as the puzzle pieces just weren’t coming together. We were unable to corroborate any of Talbott’s allegations that she had been abducted or sexually assaulted.”

Burch said Talbott confessed to staging the entire incident, including the crime scenes, starting with the “initial ‘kidnapping’ scene at the apartment complex to the point of Talbott’s condition when she walked into the church – were staged.”

Burch said Talbott admitted the injuries she suffered were self-inflicted.

“Although I do not have the official report, it is our understanding that medical personnel who examined Talbott were unable to corroborate that Talbott had been sexually assaulted,” Burch said.

He told reporters, “As you know people start lying and they have to lie to cover other lies — eventually it just reaches a point like this one where it’s just out of control. She had dug herself so deep a hole that I don’t think there was any other way of getting out of it but just telling the truth.”

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3. Police Say the Case Spun Out of Control on Social Media & the Hoax Was ‘Especially Offensive to the African-American Community’

(Facebook)

Denison Police Chief Jay Burch said the social media reaction to the case caused issues for police.

“The case quickly gathered regional attention due to the severity of the alleged crime and rumors quickly begin to spin out of control through social media,” Burch said. Almost immediately, Talbott’s story and allegations began to unravel. Within only a day or two, detectives had doubts as to most of Talbott’s allegations.”

“Many persons fell victim to Breana Harmon Talbott’s hoax. The police were quickly disparaged by Talbott’s family and friends,” Burch said. “Social media comments and opinions were out of control making it difficult to focus on solving this case.”

Police didn’t immediately put out information on the case, leading to claims they were hiding information and resulting in Talbott’s mother posting information about the investigation.

“Even though we originally assumed this case to be legitimate, the great work of Denison Police Department investigators and officers quickly led to major questions as to the validity of the alleged crime,” Burch said. “Even though we strongly felt this was a hoax soon into the investigation, it was my decision to delay notifying the public until we had 100% confirmation it didn’t happen. Plus, we wanted to insure we did everything we could on the remote chance there was any truth to the alleged crime.”

He previously addressed the social media issue in a March 15 Facebook post, before it was announced the case was a hoax:

As many of you know, there was a report last week of an abduction and sexual assault of a young woman allegedly by three black men as reported by the victim. We are aware of the significant comments on social media reference this case. As with a high profile case as this alleged crime is, many persons offer comment and opinion that others believe to be true. For example, one person posted that random women were often being abducted and sexually assaulted by a person or persons in Denison. This is simply not true. But for the case alleged last week, it has been over 5 years or more since such a similar type case was reported in Denison.

Emotions also run high in such a serious case, especially when detectives must look at every angle in such a report. There is no way to look at every angle without some people getting offended and I apologize for that, but it is the way we have to work an investigation to hopefully have a successful prosecution one day. That said, I’m sure the mere posting of this information will draw many negative comments toward the police department because some people are quick to offer their opinion that whatever the police do is wrong or not enough. I understand that opinion.

I’m posting this today to let the public know we remain diligent in working this case. We have contacted or will be contacting state and federal authorities that are experts in this area of investigation as we want to leave no stone unturned. When and if we have a case to present to the District Attorney’s Office, we will consult with them in that regard as well.

Our detectives have recovered evidence we hope will provide identifiable DNA. The downside of getting the evidence processed at the state lab is that it sometimes takes months to get results although we will ask for expedience. In spite of this alleged crime and the opinion of some on social media, Denison remains a safe city with a very low crime rate and the police department will do our best to keep it this way.

Speaking of crime, another reason I wanted to post this today is because other cases still continue, albeit much less in priority to last week’s alleged offense, and you will be seeing the typical postings of photos of theft suspects as in the past on this site. Before we posted photos of theft suspects for example, we just wanted to make sure the community knows the reported case from last week remains a priority. Obviously, should we get photos or other information to post from last week’s alleged offense, we will certainly post it as soon as we get it. Thank you for your patience.

The story was picked up by many alt-right and white supremacist websites, who played up the reports that the suspects were black. They also claimed the media was covering up the case because of the race of the suspects.

Headlines blared, “3 Black THUGS Kidnap And Do The UNTHINKABLE To 18 Year Old Woman- MSM SILENT For SICK Reason,” and “Black Thugs Allegedly Kidnap, Gang Rape, Repeatedly Slash Beautiful White Teen: Media Silent.”

They also shared memes about the case:

Burch said the case harmed the community, especially African Americans.

“Breana Harmon Talbott’s hoax was also insulting to our community and especially offensive to the African-American community due to her description of the so-called suspects in her hoax,” Burch said. “The anger and hurts caused from such a hoax are difficult and all so unnecessary.”

He expanded on those thoughts at a press conference, saying, “These kind of things are hurtful to the community in general and specifically when a race is alleged to have committed a crime on a particular race — it’s going to be hurtful to that part of our community. It’s difficult and in this case it was just so unnecessary.”

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4. Talbott’s Fiance Says He Is ‘Moving On’ After the ‘Terrible Betrayal’ & Doesn’t Know Why She Would Stage a Rape

Breana Talbott and her ex-fiance. (Facebook)

Talbott’s former fiance, Sam Hollingsworth, told KDFW-TV he is “moving on” from the relationship after the terrible betrayal. He said he and Talbott had a fight before she disappeared, but he doesn’t understand why she would stage a gang rape.

The fight was over whether the couple would move after Hollingsworth joined the Army. According to Facebook posts, Talbott and Hollingsworth had been engaged since November 2016 and started dating in April 2016.

“I was hurt. It was hard to take in whenever I found out about everything,” Hollingsworth told the news station. “Somebody that I actually trusted and was planning on spending the rest of my life with could do something like this to me and everybody else in this community.”

Talbott, a recent graduate of Denison High School and a Denison native, works as a patient care technician at Carrus Speciality and Rehabilitation Hospitals, according to her Facebook page.

She has also studied nursing at Grayson College.

Talbott was reported missing once before, in July 2014, according to a Facebook post from a family friend. She returned home two days after she was last seen.

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5. She Has Been Arrested on a Misdemeanor Charge & Police Say They Will Seek Restitution

breana talbott, breanna talbott

(Facebook)

Talbott was charged Wednesday with making a false report to a peace officer, a class B misdemeanor, the Denison Police Department said in a press release.

Police Chief Jay Burch said the department “will also restitution for the significant costs for conducting such a major investigation.”

She faces up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000, according to Texas law.

It is not clear if she has hired an attorney.

A GoFundMe page was set up by someone in her name to raise money for Talbott’s “stolen jewelry” and medical expenses, but it was not started by her, police told KXII-TV.

“Police say that would be handled between the person who created the page and the people who donated,” the news station reports.

Shalamar Traylor, whose uncle lives at the apartment complex where Talbott claimed she was kidnapped from, told KXII he was questioned by police.

“We definitely had to speak with someone to prove our whereabouts when the situation happened,” Traylor said. “Three black men in a big black suburban and a one way in one way out apartment complex in broad daylight, things don’t add up. When things don’t add up people are going to talk.”

Traylor said he has the utmost respect for the police department.

“To be honest I don’t know why she did it,” Traylor told the news station. “The only thing I care about is that we don’t have any black men in the criminal system that have been accused of something they did not do.”

Police said they want to make it clear the crime never happened.

“It’s unfortunate a person can falsely report such a major incident in our community that wastes the time of law enforcement and needlessly puts some people in fear,” Burch said. “I apologize to those who have current investigations with the department as we delayed those to focus on this case. As I said in a recent Facebook post, Denison has been and will remain a safe community with a great quality of life.”

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Rolando Cardenas: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Rolando Cardenas. (Clark County Detention Center)

A 55-year-old man is accused of shooting at fellow passengers on a public bus on the Las Vegas Strip for “no apparent reason” on Saturday, killing one man and wounding another.

Rolando Cardenas was arrested after a stand-off that lasted several hours, the Associated Press reports.

Cardenas stood up and opened fire from the back of the bus as passengers were disembarking near the Cosmopolitan hotel-casino, police said. He fired several rounds from a handgun, according to police.

Gary Breitling, 57, of Sidney, Montana, was killed in the shooting. An unidentified man was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Cardenas Surrendered to Police After Barricading Himself on the Bus for About 4 Hours

Rolando Cardenas barricaded himself on the bus after the shooting, the Associated Press reports. He eventually surrendered to police after about four hours, following a standoff that included crisis negotiators and a SWAT team driving an armored vehicle up to the bus.

The shooting happened about 11 a.m. after the bus, operated by the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada, came to a stop on Las Vegas Boulevard. Cardenas was arrested about 3:15 p.m.

“He was on the bus. He was shooting people on the bus. He was just contained to that location. He never exited the bus,” Clark County Assistant Sheriff Tom Roberts said.

The shooting and standoff shut down Las Vegas Boulevard in the area.

Former NBA player Scot Pollard, who was at a nearby hotel, told the Associated Press, “We can hear them negotiating. We can hear them saying things like ‘No one else needs to get hurt,’ ‘Come out with your hands up. We are not going anywhere. We are not leaving.’”

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2. He Has Lived in the Las Vegas Area for Several Years & Does Not Appear to Have a Criminal Record

Cardenas, 55, has lived in the Las Vegas area since 2008, KSNV-TV reports. He previously lived in Hawaii, public records show.

He does not appear to have a criminal record, according to KSNV.

Police have not released any other details about the case or other information about Cardenas.

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3. Cardenas Is Being Held Without Bail on Charges Including Murder, Attempted Murder & Burglary

Cardenas was charged with murder, attempted murder, burglary while in possession of a gun and discharging a gun within a vehicle, Clark County records show.

He is being held without bail at the Clark County Detention Center, records show.

Cardenas is set to make his first court appearance on Monday. It is not known if he has hired an attorney.


4. A GoFundMe Account Has Been Set Up for the Victim’s Family

gary breitling

Gary Breitling. (Facebook)

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family of the victim killed in the shooting, Gary Breitling, a 57-year-old father from Montana. The account was started by a friend of Breitling’s daughter, Lisa Breitling Lara.

“I love you so much dad! My heart breaks,” Lisa Lara wrote on Facebook, along with a photo of her fatehr.

He was on a trip to Las Vegas with his wife, Barbara, who was not injured, KTQV reports. They live together in Sidney.

gary breitling

Gary Breitling and his wife, Barbara. (Facebook)

Breitling was a member of the Sidney High School Class of 1977, according to a post on an alumni Facebook page.

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5. The Shooting Came Hours After 3 Men Wearing Pig Masks Broke Into a Jewelry Store at the Bellagio

The shooting was the second incident to create chaos and hotel lockdowns on the Las Vegas Strip over the course of several hours.

In the first incident, at least three men wearing pig masks and carrying sledgehammers smashed their way into a high-end jewelry store at the Bellagio Resort & Casino, CNN reports.

The burglary occurred about 12:50 a.m. Saturday at Tesorini, a Rolex retailer, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

The men were wearing “dark, nice suits” or tuxedos, police Lieutenant Carlos Hank told the newspaper. They grabbed several items and stripped off their disguises as they fled, Hank said.

“It is like a movie, it’s just crazy,” Hank told the Review-Journal.

No shots were fired during the incident, though witnesses reported hearing gunfire. Police said it was not an active shooter situation, despite reports to the contrary.

Police said they detained several people for questioning, but have not yet identified any of the burglars.

“We have some people going through the process,” Hank said, “Doing interviews and finding out where they were and what they were doing.”

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Richard Haste: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Richard Haste, the New York police officer who shot and killed unarmed teen Ramarley Graham, has resigned.

The New York Daily News reported that Haste resigned shortly before he was expected to be fired in the teen’s 2012 shooting death.

According to Newsday, Haste’s lawyer has called him a scapegoat of political pressure on the Police Department.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. A Department Disciplinary Panel Found Haste Guilty of Charges

The Daily News reported that “the commissioner from his (Haste’s) departmental trial concluded he was guilty of all charges and would recommend Police Commissioner James O’Neill fire him.”

The New York Police Department said in a statement that Haste quit “upon being informed that on Friday, March 24 the Department Trial Commissioner found him guilty on all counts and recommended his employment be terminated.”

The department was seeking to discipline Haste after accusing him of violating procedures, even though he has never been convicted in a criminal court.


2. Haste Shot Graham After Following the Teenager Into His Bronx Apartment

The circumstances of Graham’s death generated outrage.

According to ABC 7, Graham “was 18 when he was shot once in the bathroom of his Bronx home in 2012 during a drug investigation. He was killed in front of his grandmother and 6-year-old brother.”

PIX 11 reported that Haste testified previously that “he got out of his police van during a drug probe in Graham’s Bronx neighborhood and followed the teenager, suspected on police radio chatter of having a gun, into his apartment building.”

According to the television station, Haste testified that he and his partner brown down Graham’s door and then “saw Graham sidestep into a bathroom, and he leaned inside to face him.”


3. Haste Argued He Mistakenly Thought Graham Had a Gun & Avoided Federal Charges

Although Graham was not armed, Haste contended he thought the Bronx 18-year-old had a weapon. According to PIX 11, Haste testified that he yelled, “Show me your hands!” but “Graham instead reached deeper into his pants and yelled obscenities.” The television station quoted Haste as saying, “I thought I was about to be shot. I expected to be dead.”

That allowed him to avoid federal charges, reported CBS News, because authorities felt “there was no evidence to refute Haste’s claim that he shot the teen because he mistakenly believed he was reaching for a gun.”

According to CBS, Haste was originally charged with criminal manslaughter in connection with the death but the charge “was dismissed because of a procedural error and a new grand jury declined to indict.”


4. Graham’s Mother Released a Statement Saying Haste Should Be in Prison & Criticized the System

Graham’s upset mother wasn’t satisfied with the resignation.

She said in a statement, according to ABC 7, “My son Ramarley was gunned down and murdered by NYPD Officer Richard Haste over 5 years ago. Richard Haste should have been in prison but instead of even firing him, the de Blasio administration let him resign. This is just another example that the de Blasio administration doesn’t care about justice and accountability. Every step of the way, the Mayor and NYPD have dragged their heels and have refused to hold officers accountable for murdering my son.”


5. Haste Was Accused of ‘Botching Departmental Tactics’

According to NBC 4, Haste was accused of “botching departmental tactics.”

“Richard Haste was brought on departmental charges for demonstrating ‘poor judgment’ by not taking obvious steps to defuse a fatal standoff with Ramarley Graham,” the television station reported.

PIX 11 reported that police lawyers said Haste “botched department tactics requiring him to take cover and call for backup in his pursuit of 18-year-old Ramarley Graham in 2012.”

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