Missing Wisconsin Teen Found, Suspect in Custody

Missing Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs, 13, was found alive. She was missing Oct. 15 when sheriff’s deputies, responding to a 911 call, found the door to her family’s home kicked in. Her parents, James, 56, and Denise, 46, were found shot to death.

Missing Wisconsin teen Jayme Closs was found alive and a suspect is in custody, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Closs vanished Oct. 15 when sheriff’s deputies, responding to a 911 call, found the door to her family’s home kicked in. Her parents, James, 56, and Denise, 46, were found shot to death, but Jayme was missing. She had not been seen or heard from since.

A suspect was taken into custody shortly after Closs, 13, was located. She apparently escaped from a home and approached a neighbor, identifying herself and asking the neighbor to call 911. “I mean I’m shocked,” her aunt, Kelly Engelhardt, told Minneapolis TV station KARE 11. “I figured that if they hadn’t found her by now that the person that did this didn’t want her dead, so I had hope.”  She was found late Thursday afternoon in the town of Gordon.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Cohen Gets Three-Year Term for Financial Crimes, Lying

“My weakness could be characterized as a blind loyalty to Donald Trump,” President Trump’s former attorney Michael Cohen told a federal judge. The judge rejected a plea for no jail time and said “a significant term of imprisonment is fully justified in this highly publicized case to send a message.”

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former attorney, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for financial crimes and lying to Congress, reports the Washington Post. The disgraced former “fixer” apologized for his conduct but said he felt it was his duty to cover up the “dirty deeds” of his former boss. Cohen made an emotional, teary apology to U.S. District Judge William Pauley, taking responsibility for crimes that included tax violations, lying to a bank, and buying the silence during the 2016 campaign of women who alleged affairs Trump.

“My weakness could be characterized as a blind loyalty to Donald Trump,” Cohen told the packed courtroom. The judge also ordered Cohen to pay nearly $2 million in financial penalties. Pauley said Cohen’s sentence should reflect the competing interests of the Cohen case — punishing those who repeatedly break the law, and rewarding those who cooperate and provide truthful testimony. The judge said Cohen “selected the information he disclosed to the government. This court cannot agree with the defendant’s assertion that no jail time is warranted. In fact this court firmly believes that a significant term of imprisonment is fully justified in this highly publicized case to send a message.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

Sessions Leaves DOJ; Mueller Probe In Question

The president asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to quit after months of criticizing him for recusing himself from overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia’s possible involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

As was expected, President Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday after months of Trump’s expressing his displeasure with Sessions in critical tweets, the Wall Street Journal reports. The move ended Sessions’ tumultuous tenure as the nation’s top law-enforcement officer. He couldn’t shake Trump’s displeasure over the special-counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Trump named Sessions’ Chief of Staff, Matthew Whitaker, as acting attorney general.

Sessions’ departure creates instant uncertainty not only at the Justice Department but also at special counsel Robert Mueller’s office. Sessions had recused himself from that investigation because of his role in the Trump campaign, but a new attorney general could oversee the probe. Lawmakers of both parties have warned Trump against naming a new attorney general to weaken Mueller, but some Republicans have signaled a willingness to consider replacements. Any nominee is certain to be closely scrutinized during the Senate confirmation process over whether the Mueller probe needs to be reined in or shut down entirely. Such a move could touch off a political crisis.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Nebraska Executes Carey Dean Moore, First State Execution Since 1997

The execution of Carey Dean Moore went forward on Tuesday after a federal appeals court denied a drug company’s request to halt the lethal injection over concerns about whether the drugs were obtained improperly by the state.

Nebraska executed Carey Dean Moore on Tuesday. It was the state’s first execution since 1997 and the first by lethal injection, reports the Omaha World-Herald. The execution went forward after a federal appeals court denied a drug company’s request to halt the lethal injection over concerns about whether the drugs were obtained improperly by the state, NPR reports.

Moore’s execution was scheduled to be the first time the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl was used in a U.S. lethal injection. Moore, who has been in prison since 1980 after he was convicted of two first degree murders, has not challenged the execution protocol. He’s had seven other execution dates before this one.

The primary legal challenge was from German pharmaceutical company Fresenius Kabi, which makes potassium chloride and cisatracurium besylate, two of the four drugs in the protocol. An increasing number of pharmaceutical companies have taken legal action against states using their products in executions, which has made it difficult for states to obtain the drugs.

The state has not disclosed its supplier. Fresenius Kabi said it has “grounds to believe” that Nebraska is using their drugs. U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf said the company’s claim that the drug’s use would cause it “irreparable injury” was “far too speculative.”

Nebraska said it contacted at least forty potential suppliers and six other states to find the drugs used in the execution.

An unidentified supplier was the only one willing to sell Nebraska the drugs. One of the substances expires on Aug. 31. Nebraska had argued that any delay could render it unable to carry out executions indefinitely.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Supreme Court: States Can Allow Sports Gambling

By a 6-to-3 vote, the high court Monday voided the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). The law barred state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions. Thirty-two states may move to offer sports betting.

The Supreme Court on Monday struck down a federal law that bars gambling on football, basketball, baseball and other sports in most states, the Associated Press reports.

The ruling gives states the go-ahead to legalize betting on sports. By a 6-to-3 vote, the high court voided the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). The 1992 law barred state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions. It made Nevada the only state where a person could wager on the results of a single game. One estimate was that if the law were struck down, 32 states would likely offer sports betting within five years.

“The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito for the majority. “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own. Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA is not.”

The court’s decision came in a case from New Jersey, which has fought for years to legalize gambling on sports at casinos and racetracks in the state. More than a dozen states had supported New Jersey, which argued that Congress exceeded its authority when it passed the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, barring states from authorizing sports betting.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Law Enforcement Leaders Express Opposition to the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act

Today, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) released a letter of opposition to the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38/S. 446)(H.R.38/S. 446). The letter was signed by 473 law enforcement agencies from 39 states who joined together to … Continue reading

Today, the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) released a letter of opposition to the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (H.R. 38/S. 446)(H.R.38/S. 446). The letter was signed by 473 law enforcement agencies from 39 states who joined together to oppose this legislation that would dismantle state-level concealed carry permitting systems. The letter is found in its entirety here.

Statement by IACP President Louis M. Dekmar, Chief of the LaGrange, Georgia, Police Department:

“While I support Second Amendment rights for all law-abiding citizens, I strongly oppose to the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act because it endangers the public and law enforcement. This legislation would override state laws that determine who is qualified to carry a concealed firearm—laws that take into account the distinctive circumstances and needs in each state. No state should be forced to accept a person carrying a concealed that does not meet the standards the state has set for its own citizens. This legislation, if passed, would severely interfere with local law enforcement’s ability to prevent gun violence and safeguard the public.”

Statement by Boston Commissioner William Evans:

“This bill would override state laws determining who is qualified to carry a loaded hidden gun – laws which take into account the unique circumstances and needs in each state– and would force states to allow individuals to carry guns who are not qualified to do so under their own laws,” said Commissioner Evans of the legislation. “During traffic stops and other interactions with the public, our officers would have to be familiar with 50 different state’s laws on conceal carry permitting. Given the split-second decisions our officers frequently need to make, this is nearly impossible and can foreseeably lead to violent confrontations. As law enforcement officers across the US, we oppose this dangerous threat to our officers and to public safety.”

Statement by Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo:

“The federal Conceal Carry law would override carefully crafted state laws, which vary widely in their standards, and reduce the country to the least common denominator for safety. Not all states require background checks or safety training. Some states don’t require carriers to have a permit at all, and some allow people convicted of violent misdemeanors to carry weapons. States must retain the ability to legislate concealed carry laws that best fit the needs of their communities. Texans have a history of responsible gun ownership, strongly believe in states’ rights, and deserve to not be forced to accept permits holders from states that don’t have our proven processes.”

Statement by Springfield, MO Police Chief Paul Williams:

“The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act is simply a bad idea. The United States of America, lest we forget, is a Union of States. Each State has a responsibility to its residents to enact laws reflecting the views of their residents, and not those of another State. There is already CCW reciprocity between states that agree with each other on this issue; but forcing other states, who are not like minded, to honor that agreement is not the role of the Federal government, or in the best interests of ALL citizens. Although we had a very well designed and functioning CCW permitting process in Missouri, in 2016 our legislature voted to allow anyone to carry a concealed handgun, without a permit, without training, and without requiring a background check. That may well be the will of Missourians, but I dare say it is not something that would be universally accepted across the country.”

Statement by Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields:

“Given the recent series of mass shootings, the last thing we need to do is make it easier for people to carry concealed weapons across state lines. This law makes no sense if our goal is to reduce deaths from gun violence.”

Law enforcement officers interested in adding their voice to this national effort may sign on to the letter of opposition here: http://bit.ly/IACPOpposesCCR.

from https://theiacpblog.org

Jury Acquits Orlando Mass Killer’s Widow

Noor Salman, the widow of the gunman who killed 49 people at a gay Orlando nightclub, was acquitted Friday on charges of lying to the FBI and helping her husband in the 2016 attack, Her attorneys described her as an easily manipulated woman with a low IQ.

Noor Salman, the widow of the gunman who killed 49 people at a gay Orlando nightclub, was acquitted Friday on charges of lying to the FBI and helping her husband in the 2016 attack, the Associated Press reports. Salman, 31, began sobbing with joy when she was found not guilty of charges of obstruction and providing material support to a terrorist organization . Salman was married to Omar Mateen when he attacked the Pulse nightclub. Police killed him. Prosecutors said Salman and Mateen scouted out potential targets together — including Disney World’s shopping and entertainment complex — and she knew he was buying ammunition for his AR-15 in preparation for a jihadi attack. She knew that he had a sick fascination with violent jihadi videos and an affinity for Islamic State group websites and gave him a “green light to commit terrorism,” prosecutors said.

Defense attorneys called Salman an easily manipulated woman with a low IQ. They said Salman, who was born in California to Palestinian parents, was abused by Mateen, who cheated on her with other women and concealed much of his life from her. Attorney Charles Swift said there was no way Salman knew Mateen would attack the Pulse nightclub because even he didn’t know he would attack it until moments before the shooting. His intended target was the Disney Springs complex, prosecutors said. “It’s a horrible, random, senseless killing by a monster,” Swift said in closing arguments. “But it wasn’t preplanned. The importance to this case is that if he didn’t know, she couldn’t know.” Salman’s statement to the FBI after the attack appeared to play a key role in the case. She said that in “the last two years, Omar talked to me about jihad.”

from https://thecrimereport.org

Austin Bomber Dies, Detonating Bomb in Car

A suspect identified as 24-year-old white man dies as SWAT officers approached his car. The man said to be responsible for six bombs was traced through FedEx transactions.

The suspect in a string of bombings in Austin is dead, reports the Austin American-Statesman. Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said authorities tracked down the suspect’s vehicle to a hotel in Round Rock, Tx., just north of Austin. Police began following the suspect’s vehicle, and as SWAT officers approached, the suspect detonated a bomb in the car. The name of the suspect, described as a 24-year-old white man, has not been released, pending notification of his family. Although police are still investigating the possibility of accomplices, Manley said, “we believe this individual is responsible for all of the incidents in Austin.” Manley urged the community to remain vigilant for possible other explosives, adding that “we do not know where (the suspect) has been in the past 24 hours.” Police have not identified a motive for the bombings.

The break in the case was based largely on information gained after the suspect shipped an explosive device from a FedEx store in Sunset Valley, a suburb surrounded by Austin. Authorities also relied on store receipts showing suspicious transactions and obtained a warrant for his Google search history that showed him conducting searches they considered suspicious. Authorities used cell phone technology to trace the suspect to a hotel. Four bombs exploded in Austin starting on March 2, killing two men and injuring four people. A fifth bomb exploded early Tuesday at a FedEx sorting facility in Schertz, 60 miles southwest of Austin. A package containing an apparent unexploded bomb was found Tuesday at a FedEx distribution center in Austin. The use of FedEx represented a major shift in the bomber’s methods and a major break for authorities. The first three bombs were left overnight on doorsteps and were not delivered commercially. The fourth bomb was left next to a street in a residential subdivision and was triggered by a trip wire strung over a sidewalk.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Fourth Package Explosion In Austin, Tx. Neighborhood

“It is very possible that this device was … activated by someone either handling, kicking or coming in contact with a tripwire that activated the device,” said interim police chief Brian Manley.

An explosion tore through a quiet Austin, Tx., neighborhood Sunday night, sending two men to the hospital with serious injuries and heightening worries that a serial package bomber is targeting the city’s residents. Shortly after midnight, about 15 federal agents were walking side-by-side near the entrance to a subdivision shining flashlights on the road searching for clues. Early Monday morning, interim police chief Brian Manley said it was possible that a trip-wire triggered the explosion, a departure from the three prior bombs that were all inside packages, reports the Austin American-Statesman. Manley said investigators believe Sunday’s explosion was caused by a bomb and are operating under the assumption that it was connected to three recent blasts elsewhere in the city.

Some neighbors reported they had been told the explosion was the result of a trip wire. Manley cautioned residents that they need to be even more vigilant. “It is very possible that this device was … activated by someone either handling, kicking or coming in contact with a tripwire that activated the device,” he said. Police had been advising residents, “Do not handle packages, do not pick up packages, do not disturb packages. We now need to have an extra level of vigilance and pay attention to any suspicious device, whether it be a package, a bag, a backpack, anything that looks out of place and please do not approach it,” Manley said. In Sunday’s case, there was a suspicious package left on the side of the road, and that the victims were either riding or pushing bikes when it went off.

from https://thecrimereport.org

Criminal Charges Possible in Bridge Collapse: Miami Police

Juan Perez, director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, raised the possibility of criminal charges tied to the collapse of the Florida International University pedestrian bridge. “We’ve got to look at the reality that there may be some negligence down the line,” Perez said.

Juan Perez, director of the Miami-Dade Police Department, on Friday morning raised the possibility of criminal charges tied to the collapse of the Florida International University pedestrian bridge, the Miami Herald reports. In an interview on WIOD 610 AM, Perez said the immediate priority is to continuing clearing rubble and removing enough of the 950-ton bridge to allow rescue workers to remove the six people crushed in their cars. As county police, fire and others tackle the rubble, Perez said the investigation of what went wrong — led in Miami-Dade by his agency’s homicide squad — is ramping up. Katherine Fernandez-Rundle, the county’s elected state attorney, is visiting the scene Friday.

“We’ve got to look at the reality that there may be some negligence down the line,” Perez said. Federal authorities, including the National Transportation Safety Board and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, are on the scene and leading their investigations. Perez said local agencies will look to those probes to help determine who may be at fault. “It will help determine whether someone is liable for this,” Perez said. “It’s obviously an accident either way. We have to look to see if somebody contributed to that accident.”

from https://thecrimereport.org