Justice

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With the huge success of the Netflix original, Making a murderer, the world got a chance to see to the struggles and torment of a potentially wrongly convicted person, and although the case of Steven Avery is an extreme example…. There are an unfortunate amount of people who have been accused of horrendous crimes they did not commit, some of which are in fact executed, only to be posthumously exonerated through the use DNA testing or campaigns like the innocence project… Here are five people who were wrongly convicted for crimes they had absolutely no involvement in.

A day after Judge Glenn Devlin of Houston lost his reelection bid, he released nearly all of the juvenile defendants who appeared before him, as long as they answered no when he asked if they planned to kill anyone. Devlin, one of the 59 Republican jurists in Harris County who was replaced by Democrats, allegedly said: “This is obviously what the voters wanted,” when he released juveniles who have been charged with a wide range of crimes.

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A fearless 85-year-old great-grandfather is being hailed as a hero and an internet sensation after surveillance footage of him scaring three weapon-wielding robbers from a betting parlor in Ireland went viral over the weekend. Denis O’Connor sitting at Bar One Racing in Glanmire, County Cork, on Saturday evening when the masked would-be thieves burst into the venue. Two of the men rushed the counter and demanded money, threatening the store manager Tim Murphy, while the other pointed his shotgun at O’Connor.

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A man armed with a shotgun got more than he bargained for when trying to steal a truck from an Albuquerque business. Instead of a free ride, surveillance video shows the victim wrestling away the suspect’s shotgun before he could use it. Albuquerque Policesay the shotgun-wielding man and another male suspect ram from the scene.

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Largo, FL – Police are looking for a couple they say kidnapped and tried to kill a man in a drug-related crime.

They answered a call in the 200 block of 3rd Street NW around 11 Wednesday morning. They found Timothy Nichols, 28, shot in the head after two men and a woman wrapped his feet and hands in duct-tape and forced him into the back of a U-Haul truck. Nichols freed himself and police say 24 year old Rhionna Anderson fired that shot as he tried to get away. Nichols is hospitalized and expected to recover.

One of those men is in custody, but police are still looking for Derrick Heckman, 30, as well as Anderson. Police say they took off in the U-Haul and ditched it at Largo Mall.

Anderson and Heckman are considered armed and dangerous. They’re pictured in this article.

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Uploaded August 29, 2018
A California man is facing 10 felony counts for allegedly sneaking out on dates just before the waiter brings the check, authorities said Monday. Paul Guadalupe Gonzalez, 45, set up dates across southern California and would enjoy the meals before he’d disappear. He pleaded not guilty to extortion, grand theft and other charges. Gonzales is accused of defrauding the women of nearly $1,000.

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165 Central Florida Uber driver shoots, kills man chasing him
WInter Haven, FL – An Uber driver shot and killed a man who chased and threatened him in a “classic case of stand your ground,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.

Jason Boek, of Winter Haven, was killed in the shooting, which was reported around 2:20 a.m. Tuesday on Dundee Road, just east of Carl Floyd Road and County Road 550 near Cypress Gardens.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, a woman called for an Uber to take her home from the Grove Lounge on U.S. Highway 27 in Dundee because she had been drinking.

Another woman at the lounge walked the patron to her Uber when it arrived, deputies said. The women do not know each other.

The Uber driver, a 38-year-old Lake Wales man, drove the woman west on Dundee Road

Meanwhile, the woman who assisted the Uber passenger began receiving text messages from Boek, her on-again, off-again boyfriend, who thought she got into the Uber, deputies said. Boek told her he was going to pursue the Uber and beat up driver, according to officials.

Judd said it appears Boek thought his girlfriend, not the other bar patron, get into the car.

Boek drove a Ford F-250 pickup truck that was borrowed, and chased down the Uber driver, who was in a Hyundai, officials said. Boek pulled in front of the car, and the Uber driver thought he was trying to run him off the road, deputies said.

Boek stopped the truck and began walking toward the Hyundai, saying, “You know, I got a pistol. You want me to f****** shoot you?”

As Boek kept walking toward the car, the Uber driver, who is a concealed weapon permit holder and a licensed armed security guard who just finished the police academy, reached into the pocket of the driver door and retrieved a handgun, firing one shot at Boek, who was struck in the chest and killed, officials sai

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‘I’m Gonna Make Sure Your Face Gets Out’ SALT LAKE CITY (CBS) — A mother’s emotional video showing a man who allegedly tried to film her daughter in a changing room has been viewed millions of times.

36-year-old Jorge Leon-Alfaro is facing charges for allegedly filming a 12-year-old girl who was changing in a dressing room stall at a Salt Lake City mall.

The girl’s mother, Doris Stiles-Scown, posted a video to Facebook describing what happened.

She says she went out of the dressing room to get her daughter a different size and when she returned, she allegedly saw Leon-Alfaro under the stall trying to grab her daughter’s legs. She says after she and a store employee yelled at him, he ran away, but Stiles-Scown ran after him.

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Second Amendment WIN!!

Michelle Booker-Hicks was paying for her gas at a Shell station. Suddenly, she saw a man climb into her car, which had her two sons, both aged four, in the back. Booker-Hicks jumped into the front passenger seat and shouted at him to stop. But he ignored her and carried on her driving. She then grabbed her gun from her glove box and opened fire, shooting the carjacker in the face, hitting him under his right eye.

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MSNewsNow.com – Jackson, MS

BEND, OR – After nearly one dozen parents testified against her, a daycare owner who drugged numerous children on melatonin then left them alone to go for a tan or exercise was sentenced to more than 21 years in prison.

It was an emotional day in court Friday, as parents faced January Neatherlin, whom the parents had trusted with their children, and told the judge why she deserved a full sentence.

One family said their daughter suffered a brain injury, consistent with shaken baby syndrome, while in Neatherlin’s care.

Other parents told stories of their children struggling to sleep after their time with Neatherlin, who fed them melatonin while she went tanning and to the gym.

“She repeatedly administered a sleeping agent to a room full of infants, toddlers and children and drove off in her car to fulfill her narcissistic needs. There is no room in our society for monsters like this. January has no respect for human life,” one parent said.

Prosecutors, who asked for a 35-year prison term, called Neatherlin’s crimes more than just criminal mistreatment, saying the daycare owner had a history of criminal activity.

Neatherlin read a statement in court, apologizing and asking for forgiveness. She also said she had failed as a caretaker and as a parent to her own children.

“Everybody makes mistakes, but not everybody takes responsibility for those mistakes. With that said, I hope the court and the parents accept my apology. I made a very poor call, and it has forever changed my life and even ended it,” she said.

When handing down the sentence, Judge Wells Ashby highlighted the carnage Neatherlin had caused for the families, noting several were still dealing with the aftermath, including broken relationships, behavioral problems and financial struggles.

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| WBTV Charlotte

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) –
Marlene Johnson was found guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of Shirley Pierce in Rowan County Wednesday. Despite proclaiming her innocence, Johnson was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

“I disagree with the decision. I am innocent. I was never there. I would not hurt anybody. I would not have killed Shirley Pierce,” Johnson said following the announcement of the verdict.

Judge Stuart Albright responded to Johnson saying “The DNA squarely contradicts everything that you just said,” and then after giving Johnson a sentence of life without parole, said “Mam, you will die in prison, that is my order.”

Shirley Pierce’s fiance found Pierce stabbed to death inside her Kannapolis home in July of 2013. Johnson reportedly killed Pierce in the mistaken belief that Pierce was having an affair with Johnson’s estranged husband.

Pierce worked with Ervin Johnson at Tuscarora Yarns in Mount Pleasant.

“We know who did this. We know why she did this. We know how she did this,” Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook said in her closing argument on Tuesday.

Johnson stabbed 62-year-old Pierce in the neck in what has been described as a violent, painful death in the attack in her home. During prosecution testimony, forensic pathologist Dr. Clay Nichols told the 9-woman, 3-man jury that Pierce would have been in pain for about three to five minutes before finally losing consciousness.

The jury got the case on Tuesday afternoon and deliberated for 45 minutes before heading home. Deliberations resumed Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m.

Johnson, who turned 66 on Tuesday, will spend the rest of her life in prison.

“We appreciate the jurors’ time and attention as we presented evidence over the past couple of weeks,” Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook said. “We are grateful for their service and thoughtful deliberation. We also appreciate the thorough investigation conducted by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.”

“We hope that this guilty verdict and resulting life sentence will provide some sense of closure for Shirley Pierce’s family, friends, and loved ones,” Cook said.

As the verdict was announced Johnson collapsed to the floor. Several deputies rushed to her side and attempted to remove her from the courtroom. The judge stopped them, telling them to make her stand up and listen as each juror was polled on the guilty verdict.

Prior to sentencing, several members of the family of Shirley Pierce spoke. Pierce’s daughter, Tracy Brown, told Johnson that she could not forgive her for the murder.

“As a Christian I’m supposed to be forgiving,” Brown said, “but I could never forgive you for what you did, and if that keeps me from going to Heaven, then I’ll meet you in Hell.”

Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten, whose investigators handled the case, said that the outcome should help the Pierce family.

“You’re thankful that this will be another step for the family of the victim in closure for them and they can get on healing,” Auten said. “Certainly they’ll never get over losing a loved one like Shirley, but hopefully this is another step in that right direction for that family.”

Johnson’s legal team of James Davis and Jay White announced that they would appeal the conviction.

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Two Chinese courts sentenced 10 criminals to death in front of thousands of people including children on Saturday. The 10 criminals, who were convicted drug dealers, murderers and robbers, were taken to the execution ground immediately in Lufeng, Guangdong Province. This is the third time since June that courts in Guangdong have announced death sentences to a group of criminals in public.

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A Tuscaloosa woman was arrested Saturday after police said she lied about her ex-boyfriend raping her, and then tying her up.

Tuscaloosa police were dispatched at 5 p.m. to a home in the 1500 block of Greystone Drive on a report of a sexual assault. The alleged victim – 25-year-old Mariah Jordan Smith – told investigators her former boyfriend had entered her home through an unlocked door, went into her bedroom and sexually assaulted her, said Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit Capt. Gary Hood.


She told police that after the attack, he tied her legs to the bed, tied her hands together and left the home. While investigators interviewed Smith, they determined some of the statements she gave them were false, Hood said.

They then got in touch with the ex-boyfriend and he learned he was out of state during the entire time of the alleged sexual assault. Hood said investigators corroborated his alibi with local law enforcement there.

Investigators arrested Smith for filing a false report. She was booked into the Tuscaloosa County Jail with a $6,000.00 bond.

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Father in Bathinda, Punjab decided to take law into his own hands and chopped off the hands of his daughter’s alleged rapist. The man’s 8-month-old daughter was allegedly raped by this accused after which the father refusing to let the law take its own course and took revenge. The alleged rapist hand’s were chopped off before he could be produced in court. He is now in the hospital battling for his life.

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The body of the headless man that was discovered outside a judge’s home has been identified as a that of a pedophile who walked free from a recent bail hearing.

William Smith, 28 from Dallas, Texas was discovered in the early hours of Tuesday morning, decapitated and left outside the front door of a judge who had granted him bail in August.

Smith had been arrested last month following complaints from his ex-girlfriend that he had raped her 8-year-old daughter.

Following his arrest, he was charged with two counts related to child pornography and one count of child molestation.

After being charged, Smith was held on a $30,000 bail which he was able to pay and walked free from the court.The judge granted bail after ruling that Smith didn’t pose a threat to the local community.

The victim’s family said they were “shocked” that her rapist had been allowed to walk free from court.Smith was awaiting trial for his crimes and was awaiting a court date which was due to be scheduled for later this year.

According to reports, the judge, whose name has been withheld, was awoken at around 3 am by his barking dog.When he went outside to check, he found the decapitated corpse outside his front door with the head left on the steps.

Investigating officers described his death as resembling a “gangland-style execution”.A local resident said of the horrific discovery that finding a headless body was an “unusual” incident: “This is a nice area.

“This is the kind of thing that usually happens in mob films, but not around here.” Police say they are currently “following leads” but have yet to make any arrests for the murder.

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Declaring “justice prevailed,” a Michigan man walked out of prison for the first time in 25 years. His release after new tests showed that the bullets presented as evidence at his trial weren’t the ones taken from the body of the victim.

Desmond Ricks, 51, met his legal team before leaving the western Michigan prison, the culmination of a remarkable effort to clear himself in a fatal shooting in Detroit in 1992. The Innocence Clinic at University of Michigan law school asked Judge Richard Skutt to reopen the case after prosecutors in 2015 turned over photos of two bullets removed from the victim, Gerry Bennett.

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A judge threw out two charges against Carrie Witt, who was facing potential prison time for allegedly having sex with two students between 16 and 19 years old while she taught at Decatur High School.

Witt, 44, had the two charges dismissed without prejudice on constitutional grounds. The ruling was issued Thursday.

That means the State can still refile the charges, so long as they do so in an appropriate amount of time.

Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson noted in his ruling that students can consent to sex under state law once they turn 16, unless someone uses a “position of authority” to “coerce, groom, or otherwise obtain the illegitimate consent of the alleged victims.”

The judge found that while there may be a gap in power between teacher and student, it “clearly does not exist between every school employee and every student regardless of where that student is enrolled.”

The court held that prosecutors must prove a school employee “was actually in a position of authority over the victim/student and that the position of authority was abused to obtain consent.”

The court noted that the State has an abiding interest in protecting people from being preyed on by someone in authority over them, such as teachers, wardens, clergy members and psychologists.

But, the court found, the law goes too far in denying any possibility of consent.

“The statute at hand embeds an irrebuttable presumption that any sexual encounter between an employee of any school and any student (without qualification as to class, school, or school system) is conclusively the result of misuse of authority,” the judge wrote.

“The law takes away the right of the employee to assert a defense that legal consent that was freely and legitimately given – abrogating the student’s capacity to consent.”

The court also noted that the ruling was based on the allegations in the indictments in the case. The judge said there was no testimony or evidence presented at the hearing where the court heard arguments about the law’s constitutionality.

The court also cited a Kansas law that he said draws a key distinction from Alabama’s current law. The court said the Kansas law bars sexual relationships between students and teachers or other school officials when the student is enrolled at the school.