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Infant reunited with family after car theft

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A family has been reunited after a 20-day-old baby was taken in a vehicle stolen Thursday afternoon from a gas station in Northern Kentucky.

An AMBER Alert was issued and massive search initiated after Henry Flores went missing after the family's 2001 Volkswagen Passat was stolen from a Florence Speedway gas station around 4 p.m. Thursday.

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About three hours later, Cincinnati TV station WCPO reported the baby had been found safe at another gas station in Fort Mitchell, Ky., about 15 minutes from where a car was stolen.

Police are studying surveillance video from the Marathon gas station in Fort Mitchell but as of Friday morning, the suspects remained at large. Florence Lt. Joseph Maier said investigators would possibly be releasing that video on Friday, along with any new information they have about the investigation.

WCPO reported that two women at that Marathon station recognized the stolen vehicle described in an AMBER Alert and reported it to police.

Sgt. Greg Rehkamp said the baby, Henry Flores, is “fine” and was checked out by emergency personnel as a precaution. He was returned to his mother and father at the gas station.

Man accused of killing, dismembering mom, stepfather

A 47-year-old man is accused of killing and dismembering his mother and step-father in Pennsylvania earlier this week. 

WPXI-TV reports police charged Frederick Harris III with two counts each of criminal homicide and abuse of a corpse.

Harris was arraigned by video Wednesday night from the Allegheny County Jail. Officials said he sat with his eyes closed and refused to speak with detectives during the proceedings.

A judge denied his bail.

Police said Harris murdered his 73-year-old mother, Olivia Gilbert, and his 76-year-old stepfather, Lamar Gilbert inside their home. Officers discovered the victims’ dismembered bodies after they were called to do a welfare check at the house in Penn Hills. 

According to the criminal complaint, investigators obtained a search warrant for the home and found several garbage cans and bags in the couple’s garage, which contained the victims' remains. Detectives also found three bottles of bleach and a bottle of anti-bacterial kitchen cleaner in the basement’s laundry room, according to the complaint.

Harris was inside the home when police arrived and he was taken to the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office for questioning. He was charged in the murders on Wednesday.

Investigators who questioned Harris said he appeared to have a fresh cut on the palm of his hand and sat upright in his chair with his eyes closed, refusing to speak or acknowledge detectives.

Harris has a criminal history that includes insurance fraud and aggravated assault.

WPXI also reported that at one point, Harris was living with his biological father, but according to investigators, his dad threw him out after Harris attacked him and attempted to choke him.

3 killed, several children hurt after driver plows into crowd after Christmas church event

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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A female motorist hit a group of pedestrians outside a California church as a Christmas service ended, killing three and leaving several others critically injured, police said.

According to Los Angeles TV station KNBC, witnesses said up to 12 people, many children, were hit in the crash, which happened around 8 p.m. in Redondo Beach.

"The crosswalk was full and the light was red," witness Marco Zonno told KNBC. "Someone ran the red light and bodies started flying. It was pretty horrible."

Some of the pedestrians were rushed to hospitals with critical injuries, Redondo Beach police Lt. Joe Hoffman said.

KNBC reports Mary Wilson, 81,  and Saeko Imatsumura, 87, both from Torrance, Calif.,  were confirmed dead by the LA County Coroner. The third person has yet to be identified. Police initialy said only one person was killed.

The woman was driving a white sedan northbound when she ran a red light, ran into the pedestrians and hit another vehicle after. KNBC reports victims' shoes littered the street following the incident.

The woman was taken in police custody to a hospital, where she was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, authorities said. They were investigating whether she was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The California Highway Patrol was assisting Redondo Beach police in the investigation.

The crash comes three days after another driver now charged with drunken driving injured 11 people who were parked and looking at a holiday light display in the Los Angeles suburb of Alhambra.

Man fakes heart attack as friend steals toys from Walmart, deputies say

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A man faked a heart attack so his friend could steal toys from a Florida Walmart, deputies said Wednesday.

According to a Polk County Sherrif's arrest report, Tarus Scott, 30, and Genard Dupree, 27, both of Lake Wales, filled a shopping cart at the Walmart with expensive toys, including a motorized power wheel Barbie car, a Leap Frog tablet and a Barbie Glam vacation house, with a total value of $369. 

The two men are seen on surveillance video walking through the store together. Video shows Dupree lying down on the ground, clutching his chest near the entrance of the store.

As concerned citizens check on Dupree, Scott is seen walking out of the store with the cart full of toys, deputies said.

Once Scott leaves the store, Dupree stands up and walks out, deputies said.

The pair left in a silver SUV, authorities said. 

The two were later found and arrested on charges of charged grand theft.

Report: Sony emails show U.S. officials blessed Kim Jong-Un killing in 'The Interview'

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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According to multiple media reports Wednesday, emails indicate the Sony CEO showed a rough cut of “The Interview” to U.S. government officials before moving ahead with the movie’s release.

The Daily Beast and Reuters claim to have seen several emails that reveal two U.S. officials in June screened and OK’d the movie in which North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is assassinated. Sony was the victim of a massive computer system hack and the hackers have been releasing sensitive emails on the Internet.

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The fallout from the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack that began four weeks ago exploded Tuesday after the shadowy group calling themselves Guardians of Peace escalated their attack beyond corporate espionage and threatened moviegoers with violence reminiscent of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

According to the Daily Beast, the claim that the State Department played a role in the decision to include the film’s death scene is likely to further upset Pyongyang. The Daily Beast is reporting it has seen emails between Sony CEO Michael Lynton and a security consultant that appear to suggest the U.S. government saw "The Interview" as a useful propaganda tool against the North Korean regime.

Speculation about a North Korean link to the Sony hacking has centered on that country's angry denunciation of the film. Over the summer, North Korea warned that the film's release would be an "act of war that we will never tolerate." It said the U.S. will face "merciless" retaliation.

The Department of Homeland Security has said that there is no credible intelligence to indicate a threat, but is still investigating the message.

Read the full Daily Beast story

Arrest made in connection with fake fundraising page for girl who was set on fire

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UPDATE: A Mississippi woman has been arrested in connection with a fake Facebook page set up to raise money for the #JusticeForJessica campaign.  Janet Posey, 39, was arrested on one count attempted false pretense and one count communications fraud.  If convicted, she faces up to 15 years behind bars. Read the original story below.

Support has been pouring in from all over the country as Jessica Chambers' story makes national headlines.Five days after her tragic death family and friends are warning their supporters to beware of scammers. At least one fake donation account has popped up online.>>Read More Trending StoriesJessica's friends say they are shocked anyone would take advantage of this tragedy. The fake account has since been taken down and the family is now asking all donations be sent to the Renasant Bank (P.O. Box 1525 in Batesville, Miss., 38606 to an account set up by the Panola County Sheriff's Department under her name."It's hard to put into words the disgust you have for someone who would take advantage of a family like this," said Chris Wells, funeral director for Wells Funeral Home.As support for 19-year-old's family pours in from all over the country those close to Jessica are finding not all of them have good intentions."The family has found some of these accounts on Facebook and other social media sites," Wells said. "Some of them have found to be fraudulent. It is sad people take advantage of situations like this but that's the reason this account has been set up so the family will know exactly where the funds come from and go."

But the fake accounts aren't harming real efforts to help Jessica and her family. Family friends Miranda and Mark Brown are planning a benefit for Jessica Friday evening at theBackwoods Bar and Grill."I think it said 500 something people coming on Facebook, so we're hoping to have it packed," the Browns said.Local bands and disc jockeys are stepping up and donating their pay and more in Jessica's name."It makes you feel good as a community, but there are no words," Miranda Brown said. "It's awful but it's good that everyone as a community is coming together for Jessica."There are hopes the funds will help the family and get someone to come forward."Anything they need, whoever did it, if someone knows something, they need to tell us," Miranda said. "It's awful."Donations can be sent "In memory of Jessica Chambers" to the Renasant Bank, P.O. Box 1525 in Batesville, Miss., 38606. You can also send flowers or cards through the Wells Funeral Home in Batesville."This community, I don't know why they are not talking," said Lisa Chambers, Jessica's mother who called for someone to speak up. "But somebody knows something. I know they know. Her last words could point to her killer but investigators said Thursday to don't expect an arrest anytime soon in Jessica's murder. You could see it in investigators faces starting late Wednesday night they look tired and forlorn. Answers in this case are not coming easy."We are currently following up on leads in this case," said District Attorney John Champion. "There have been no arrests made at this point nor do I expect any in the immediate future."With DA Champion's announcement, he also said this case has been unusually quiet with very little talk on the streets."You know, in all the years I have been doing this it's rare that we don"t have a lot of street talk about who did this to lead us to where we are," DA Champion said.She praised investigators for the long hours they have worked and cried out for her daughter."I need my baby and I need her killer behind bars," the mother said.Many Courtland residents calling for justice and some are questioning why no one has come forth with any answers.Investigators say Courtland is a small community rocked by the horrific crime, and they hope people who've been quiet so far will come forward.Someone doused the 19-year-old with a flammable liquid and set her on fire the evening of Dec. 5. She later died at the Regional One Medical Center's burn unit in Memphis.Her last words to a firefighter who found her on the side of the road could point to her killer, but investigators have not released that information yet. They say they don't expect any arrests in the near future but are following up on every tip.Ali Asanai, an employee at the M&M Quick Stop, where Jessica was last seen on surveillance video a few hours before she died, saw Jessica just about every day. He says he just doesn't understand it."I mean, whoever did this should face the death penalty," Asanai said. "I believe what happened was really crazy, you know? The way it happened we were shocked. She was friends with everybody. Sweet to everybody. I believe whoever did this he probably was on cocaine because we had no problem with her."Jessica Chambers' official autopsy is set to be complete Friday but it won't be released to the public. If you have any information in this case you are asked to call Panola County CrimeStoppers at 1-800-729-2169.

Daredevil cheats death In terrifying ski run (video)

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Cody Townsend just did something that probably few skiers would consider attempting.

The California man’s feat caught on a first person camera shows just how small his margin for error was.

http://youtu.be/aDEaAOcDKnA

“The chute is probably 5-6 feet wide at its narrowest I’d guess,” Townsend told the New York Daily News. “It was hard to tell though because honestly, I was going so fast I wasn’t paying attention to anything that wasn’t directly in front of me. You’re focused on where you need to go, not on the details of what’s around you.”

Townsend says the mountain has no official name, but says he’s given it a name not fit for print.

This is some pretty breathtaking stuff.

Read more at Rare.us

County to pay $100K to woman arrested for ‘F-bombing’ cops

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A Georgia county is paying $100,000 to a woman who police arrested for shouting profanity to protest their actions.

Amy Elizabeth Barnes, a well-known political activist, sued in federal court saying Cobb County violated her First Amendment rights and maliciously prosecuted her when it jailed her on charges of disorderly conduct and the use of abuse words to “incite an immediate breach of the peace.”

She had been shouting “Cobb police suck” and “(Expletive) the police” and raising her middle finger while riding her bicycle past two officers questioning an African-American man outside a convenience store on Easter Sunday 2012.

“Ms. Barnes’ comments to the police may have been offensive, but no one in the United States of America should be chased down and arrested for their free speech,” said lawyer Cynthia Counts, who represented Barnes in her civil and criminal litigation. “The officers argued that it was a bad neighborhood and you shouldn’t disrespect the police because it could create issues,” she added.

Counts noted federal courts had overuled such reasoning after 1918 sedition laws made “disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language” about the U.S. government, flag or armed forces — or that caused people to view government institutions with contempt — a felony.

On Tuesday, the county commission authorized a $100,000 settlement in the civil lawsuit, said spokesman Robert Quigley. In 2013, the county solicitor also lost the criminal case against Barnes.

Calls to Cobb County lawyers were not immediately returned.

Officers Brian Scurr and Dipa Patel arrested Barnes after she shouted her phrases while they were questioning a man at a store near Marietta on Austell Road, according to Judge Melodie Clayton’s order acquitting Barnes in her criminal trial.

The judge noted Barnes did not confront the officers and had ridden off on her bicycle before the officers quit questioning the man and pursued and arrested her.

“The evidence at trial showed that the Defendant was not engaged in a face-to-face confrontation with the officers which tended to incite an immediate breach of the peace when the words were spoken,” Clayton wrote. “In addition, the word “su*k”, used as an epithet, is now common enough in modern society that it cannot reasonably provoke a threat of violence. The defendant’s other statement, “(expletive) the police,” was a fleeting epithet that was insulting and inappropriate, but it did not create an immediate threat and danger of violence.

“The defendant’s statements, although offensive to this court, clearly constitute political speech,” Clayton wrote. “If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.”

Civil-rights lawyer Gerry Weber, who also represented Barnes, said what are known as “contempt of cop” arrests are prompting more civil litigation around the country. Currently the City of Atlanta faces such a case, he said.

In the Barnes case, the cash settlement was higher than some other cases because she spent a day and night in jail, including six hours in solitary confinement, Weber said.

“I think this was right in the ballpark in how these cases are resolved” financially, Weber said.

Barnes was most recently in the news in 2013 when she was arrested after her then 4- and 5-year-old children were found playing by themselves in a school playground three blocks from her home..

Authorities investigated and arrested the then 30-year-old Barnes and John Galczynski, then 58, after reportedly finding raw sewage, feces, dirt, moldy food and dog food on the floors, exposed electrical wires throughout the house, according to the arrest warrant.

They also found a German shepherd in dire need of medical care. The pet was suffering from a skin infection and had lost much of its hair, the warrant said.

They are currently facing charges of deprivation of a minor, reckless conduct and cruelty to animals in the unresolved case in Cobb Superior Court, according to court records.

Man secretly living above Denver bar falls through ceiling, gets stuck in wall

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A man was cut free from the wall of a Denver sports bar and restaurant Tuesday after police say he fell 20 feet from the ceiling where he was secretly living.

According to Denver TV station KUSA, police and firefighters responded to a call about someone falling through the ceiling at the Yard House restaurant in the downtown area of Denver.

Post by 9NEWS (KUSA).

Officers spotted a man walking in the scaffolding above the restaurant but lost site of him. A short time later a water main was somehow broken, causing massive flooding in the restaurant and a neighboring hotel.

KUSA reports officers checked the ceiling area when they discovered the man had been living above the ceiling tiles of the restaurant for some time. They found bottle caps from alcoholic beverages. 

Police and firefighters then heard moaning coming from behind the wall near the front door of the restaurant. It was discovered the man was stuck in the wall and firefighters had cut the wall out to rescue him.

Police told KUSA the man apparently fell about 20 feet from the scaffolding down to the flooded area behind the wall. 

According to KUSA, the man was taken to a nearby hospital with unknown injuries and is facing charges for the damage done to the restaurant.

 

Couple get 35 years for grape soda death of 5-year-old girl

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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A Tennessee couple have been sentenced to 35 years each in prison after the death of a 5-year-old girl they forced to drink large amounts of grape soda as punishment.

The Kingsport Times News said 41-year-old Randall Lee Vaughn and 58-year-old Mary Lavonne Vaughn of Surgoinsville were sentenced Monday in Hawkins County Criminal Court.

The Vaughns pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and aggravated child neglect. Randall was the father of the little girl, Alexa Linboom, and Mary was her step-mother.

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Officials said that on Jan. 1, 2012, the Vaughns forced Alexa, who formerly lived in Rock Falls, Illinois, to drink about 2.4 liters of soda and water over one to two hours as punishment. The massive liquid intake caused her brain to swell and herniate, and she died two days later.

The girl's mother, Katie Linboom of Rock Falls, told the Sterling Daily Gazette in Illinois she visited her daughter's grave in Surgoinsville after the hearing and felt some closure.

Attorney General Berkeley Bell told the Times News in Kingsport, Tennessee, “they also failed to take care of the child once she was injured.”

“Our position is it was a matter of several hours after the child started exhibiting serious symptoms, after the child was screaming out in pain, went into a paralyzed state, and became unconscious.”

There were six children living in the house at the time, the others are now in foster care.

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