Home Blog Page 3

Texas woman sentenced to 50 years in prison for killing boyfriend’s 4-year-old daughter

0

A Texas woman was sentenced to 50 years in prison last week for the 2019 killing of her boyfriend’s 4-year-old daughter, according to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.

Shawna Hooey, 33, of Tomball, was taking care of her own five children and 4-year-old Jakyzia Alexander when she took her to a 24-hour emergency center on Sept. 7, 2019, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a news release.

At the emergency clinic on the day of her death, Alexander’s body was already cold and Hooey reportedly told medical personnel and authorities at least four different stories about what happened to the child, who had a visible black eye and other injuries.

“We have to work together as a community to protect our children who are particularly vulnerable to abuse from violent adults,” Ogg said. “We are thankful to the jurors who recognized that this was not a single incident, but a pattern of abuse and rightfully sentenced this woman to spend decades behind bars.”

Alexander began living in Hooey’s home when her father, who worked nights and had sole custody of her, entered a relationship with Hooey, Ogg said. The girl’s father lived with family members at a different location closer to his job, and rarely saw his daughter – only seeing her through video calls in the two months before her death.

On the day of her death, Hooey said Alexander had to be woken up and was taking deep, labored breaths and not acting normally. Hooey said she drove the girl around “in a hot car to try to get her to breathe normally,” but ultimately went home to change clothes and take Alexander to the emergency clinic, according to Ogg.

In other versions of what happened to Alexander before she died, Hooey claimed the child ran into a doorknob in one instance and threw herself against a toilet paper holder in the bathroom in another. Both alleged incidents took place two days before Hooey took Alexander to the emergency room, and she claimed the child was acting normally.

Further examination revealed Alexander had signs of repeated past abuse, including fresh, resolving and healed injuries, according to Ogg.

Alexander’s autopsy showed she died from blunt force trauma to the head, Ogg announced, adding that the fatal blow would have resulted in seizures, vomiting and dazed reactions almost immediately. Witnesses testified that Alexander was acting normally the day before she was taken to the emergency clinic.

The Harris County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case, and later charged Hooey with murder.

Following a nine-day trial, a Harris County jury convicted Hooey of murder and sentenced her to 50 years in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Gilbert Sawtelle, a chief in the district attorney’s office’s Child Fatality Section, prosecuted Hooey and said child abusers often work to hide signs of abuse by keeping children away from other adults or dressing them to cover the injuries.

“Child abuse does happen, and when we see it, we need to call it out and notify the police and child protective services,” Sawtelle said in the release. “This girl was wearing long sleeves in the summertime—and if someone had noticed her injuries and intervened, she would probably still be here today.”

Hooey must serve at least half of her prison sentence before she will be eligible for parole.

Gunman opens fire in Las Vegas law firm, killing 2 before taking own life

0

Las Vegas police said a gunman opened fire inside a law firm near the Red Rock resort at the morning, killing a man and a woman, then turned the gun on himself.

During a press briefing, police shared updates following the shooting which took place on the 5th floor of a law firm located near Pavilion Center Drive and Charleston Boulevard just after 10:00 a.m.

“We were here within minutes. The first responders did not hesitate, they moved in and took care of business,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Kevin McMahill said.

McMahill said they are still investigating the motive behind the shooting, but said they do have a theory.

“We have a theory, but we can not release any more information at this point. All we know at this point is that a male and female are deceased,” McMahill said.

It is not known at this time the relationship between the victims and the gunman.

Police also reiterated that the gunman was not killed by officers and took his own life.

Police previously called the shooting a “dynamic event.”

Schools in the area were on a brief, soft lockdown, but those lockdowns have since been lifted, Fox 5 News reported.

Police said that there is “no ongoing threat” to the community and that they are in the early stages of the investigation and will provide more details when available.

Fani Willis’ jaw-dropping net worth revealed as judge rules on if she can sit Trump case

0

Today a judge has ruled that Fani Willis, the District Attorney of Fulton County, Georgia, can stay on the Trump case provided Nathan Wade, with whom she had a relationship, steps off it.

Willis has amassed a huge fortune in her career after studying at a prestigious law school. So, who is she and how much is she worth?

Fani Willis net worth

Willis has a whopping net worth that includes a diverse range of stocks and real estate assets. She’s known across the US for her investigation into Donald Trump’s indictments during the 2020 presidential election.

But not many people know that she has a significant net worth of millions. The American lawyer is thought to have a net worth of $8 million, with an annual income of $2.7 million.

According to Malang Post, Willis’ salary as a lawyer only makes up $110,000 of this $2.7 million yearly figure. The rest of her substantial earnings come from other sources.

One of Willis’ most profitable income sources is her speaking engagement fee, which is $12,000.

The lawyer’s net worth also includes an investment portfolio with $5 million in real estate and $2 million in blue-chip stocks through companies like Apple, Microsoft, and Berkshire Hathaway.

As of late afternoon today, February 16, one share of Berkshire Hathaway stock is worth $405.76 per share.

Willis also has $600,000 in gold reserves and $275,000 in savings accounts.

Trump Co-Defendant Warns He’ll File Legal Action Against Fani Willis Soon

0

A defendant in the Trump classified documents case said that he will give Fulton County, Georgia, District Attorney Fani Willis until Monday to recuse herself, otherwise he will pursue legal action amid allegations she illegally recorded his lawyer’s phone call.

Last week, the attorney for defendant Harrison Floyd alleged in an interview that Ms. Wills recorded a call between her and one of his Maryland-based colleagues without their knowledge or consent.

“She did reach out to us, one of my colleagues in Maryland, and was rude, abrupt with him on the phone, and he was dealing with the Maryland case and I was dealing with the Georgia case, and she ended up recording him,” Mr. Kachouroff said in the interview. He added that under Maryland law, “it’s a felony” to record someone without both parties’ consent.

After the allegations surfaced, Mr. Floyd wrote on social media, “I don’t want to put a black woman in jail” but if Ms. Willis “does not recuse herself from this case by noon on Monday, I may have no other choice than to pursue all lawful remedies. Make Fulton Great Again.

Ms. Willis has not publicly responded to the allegations, while several local news outlets have said her office has not responded to a request for comment. The Epoch Times contacted the Fulton County District Attorney’s office for comment on Friday.

Neither Mr. Floyd nor Mr. Kachouroff provided more details about the phone call, including what it was about or when it occurred.

Maryland is one of 11 states that require two-party consent in order for a phone call or electronic communication to be recorded. Under Maryland’s Wiretap Act, recording a conversation without consent can be punishable by upwards of five years in prison or a fine of up to $10,000 or both.

Georgia, meanwhile, is a one-party consent state, meaning that a phone call can be recorded without the other party’s consent. Notably, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger reportedly recorded a phone call he had with President Donald Trump after the 2020 election regarding voter fraud.

Mr. Floyd, along with more than a dozen others, was indicted by Fulton County on charges stemming from alleged efforts to illegally overturn the 2020 election. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and has maintained that voter fraud was conducted in the county during the election.

Specifically, he has been charged with conspiracy to solicit false statements, influencing witnesses, and racketeering. He was also accused of assaulting two FBI agents during an encounter near his home in Maryland, which he denies as well.

Mr. Floyd, a former “Black Voices for Trump” leader, turned himself in on a bond agreement on Aug. 24, 2023, before he was released on Aug. 30, 2023. At one point, he was the only Trump co-defendant to be kept in jail.

In Georgia, the charges against Mr. Floyd stem from allegations of harassment of Ruby Freeman, a Fulton County election worker who had been accused of election fraud. Prosecutors said that Mr. Floyd took part in a Jan. 4, 2021, conversation in which Ms. Freeman was told she “needed protection” and was pressured to make false statements about election fraud.

Ms. Willis, meanwhile, has faced allegations that had threatened to get her disqualified from the case, stemming from her relationship with a special counsel in the Trump case. Both Ms. Willis and the prosecutor, Nathan Wade, confirmed the relationship but denied they engaged in a conflict of interest that allowed them to financially benefit from his employment in the district attorney’s office.

The judge in the case, Scott McAfee, issued an order last month telling Ms. Willis that either she must step down or Mr. Wade must leave the case. Hours later, Mr. Wade resigned from the office, but said in a letter that the defendants were not able to prove the allegations that they engaged in a conflict of interest.

Ms. Willis has shown no indication that she will recuse herself. During an interview with CNN after the judge’s order, she said that the case is still moving forward against President Trump and the other defendants

In a recent order, Judge McAfee rejected an argument submitted by President Trump’s lawyers that the First Amendment protects his political speech following the 2020 election. The 45th president, in court papers, argued that he is being illegally punished for attempting to petition Congress into not certifying then-candidate Joe Biden as the winner in Georgia’s election.

“The defense has not presented, nor is the Court able to find, any authority that the speech and conduct alleged is protected political speech,” the judge ruled last week.

Attorneys for the former president signaled to news outlets that they are likely going to appeal the judge’s ruling in the near future. They also recently appealed Judge McAfee’s order that left Ms. Willis’s role as prosecutor in the case intact.

Two dead, 7 injured including a police officer after Miami-Dade County shooting

0

Two people are dead and seven others injured after a shooting incident in Miami-Dade County, Florida.

A police officer was among those wounded after an altercation at a commercial establishment in Doral City turned deadly when someone pulled a gun. A security guard who attempted to intervene was shot and killed, police said. 

The quick response and “heroic actions” from City of Doral police officers at the scene “prevented an incident from escalating,” Chief of Police Edwin Lopez told reporters at a news conference.

According to police, at around 3:30 a.m. there was a dispute between patrons at a martini bar at CityPlace Doral. When a security guard attempted to intervene, police say one of the patrons drew a firearm and fatally shot the guard.

Two Doral Police officers were working the establishment at the time and immediately responded. The officers drew their weapons and returned fire at the shooter.

One Doral police officer was hit in the lower extremity during the exchange of gunfire. He shot and killed the shooter, Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said.

The wounded officer was able to apply a tourniquet on himself and is now in stable condition, Lopez said.

Police said a total of six bystanders were struck by gunfire, one woman and five men. Two of the bystanders were transported to local hospitals in critical condition.

Multiple police agencies are investigating the shooting. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the officer-involved shooting, Miami-Dade Police are investigating the homicide and Doral City police are assisting both investigations, Lopez said.

The chief observed that one year ago, to the day, Doral City Police conducted a mass casualty, multi-agency active shooter drill at CityPlace Doral, which he attributed to preventing further loss of life.

“Although we can never guarantee with 100% certainty that an incident like this does not occur, we can definitely ensure that when and if an incident like this occurs in South Florida, we have the capacity, the training and the necessary skill set to immediately diffuse the incident and eliminate the threat,” Lopez said.

He praised the responding officers for their bravery and swift, decisive actions.

“This is a extremely disappointing day in our South Florida community. Anytime a law enforcement officer is shot, it tears at the core fabric of our community. But we are grateful that he is alive and in stable condition, and we look forward to completing this investigation.

4.8 magnitude earthquake strikes New Jersey, shaking buildings in surrounding states

0

East Coast residents felt the earth move Friday morning as a minor earthquake hit New Jersey and was felt in surrounding areas, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The earthquake measured at least 4.8 magnitude and struck near Lebanon, New Jersey, at 10:23 a.m., about 45 miles west of New York City and 50 miles north of Philadelphia, according to USGS. An estimate indicates the quake might have been felt by more than 42 million people in 14 states from Maine to North Carolina. More than 152,000 Americans reported feeling shaking to the USGS.
“Our region just experienced an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.7, with an epicenter near Readington in Hunterdon County,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement. “We have activated our State Emergency Operations Center. Please do not call 911 unless you have an actual emergency.
A 2.0 magnitude aftershock was recorded about five miles west of Bedminster, N.J., at 11:20 a.m., USGS officials said.
“A 4.8 magnitude earthquake hit New Jersey and was felt in parts of Pennsylvania,” Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said. “My team and @PEMAHQ are actively monitoring the situation and in contact with counties on any damage. We will keep Pennsylvanians updated.”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul issued a similar statement and said her team “will update the public throughout the day.” At a press conference, Hochul said she felt the earthquake in the state capital of Albany.
“This is one of the largest earthquakes on the East Coast to occur in the last century. So I immediately directed my emergency management team the second we received word of this to start doing damage assessments,” Hochul said.
Several people on social media commented that they felt the earth shake in Manhattan and surrounding areas. Some reported feeling tremors in Connecticut, Rhode Island and as far north as Vermont and New Hampshire.
Lara Walsh, a resident of Norwalk, Connecticut, said shelves rattled and her house shook. “My group chat for Rowayton paddle tennis team exploded when we all said, ‘what was that,’ and came to the conclusion it was definitely an earthquake,” Walsh told Fox News Digital.
“I thought my furnace was exploding, because it was a loud sound. Some thought it was a plane above,” Walsh said.
Mark Block, who lives in Trumbull, Conn., said he felt the earthquake “pretty strongly” in his area.
“What first sounded like our furnace rumbling was quickly replaced by glasses clinking and pictures shaking. Never felt anything like it in 63 years here,” Block said.
New Jersey resident David Hofreiter said his whole house in Whitehouse Station “shook very strongly” for about 30 seconds.
“Wall mounted TVs shook and moved and pictures were moved out of place. Some things in the house were knocked off of shelves,” Hofreiter said. “Throughout the whole event there was an odd sound that I can’t describe. All the neighbors came out of their houses and gathered to discuss what had happened. We have no damage to our home or property, but it was scary.
The Fire Department of New York said there were no initial reports of damage. New York City emergency services sent a cell phone alert to residents on Friday morning.
Flights at the Newark and John F. Kennedy International airports were temporarily halted and have now resumed. The Holland Tunnel connecting New York and New Jersey was temporarily closed for inspection and has been reopened, authorities said.
“I encourage all New Yorkers to check on your loved ones, and if you feel an aftershock, drop to the floor, cover your head and neck, and take cover under a solid piece of furniture, next to an interior wall, or in a doorway,” Mayor Adams said in a statement.
“So far no major life safety issues reported, no reported infrastructure issues, but we will continue our inspections of critical infrastructure.”
At a press conference, the mayor encouraged New Yorkers to return to their day as normal. School operations and afters chool programs will continue as planned, officials said.
New York Buildings Commissioner Jimmy Otto asked construction professionals to check on the city’s 1.1 million buildings and determine if those sites are secure, reporting any “troublesome” conditions to his department.
“You need to go out and check on your buildings, even if those sites are closed,” Otto said. “This is a time for that tired and true saying, if you see something, say something.”
Friday’s earthquake was the strongest to hit New Jersey in more than a century, according to Josh Dozor, a former Deputy Assistant Administrator of FEMA.
“Earthquakes are relatively rare on the East Coast compared to regions like the West Coast due to several geological factors,” Dozor told Fox News Digital. He explained that the East Coast is situated in the middle of a tectonic plate, unlike the West Coast, which sits on a tectonic boundary and where earthquakes are more common.
“With that, the 4.8 earthquake that was felt in the Northeast this morning is a very rare occurrence. Although we have seen smaller earthquakes on the East Coast over the years, the estimated 4.8 magnitude earthquake would be the strongest to occur in New Jersey in nearly 250 years,” Dozor said.
“While earthquakes are uncommon in this region, it is imperative that individuals and businesses stay prepared as these natural disasters can occur at any given moment. If you feel an earthquake, you should drop, cover, and hold on and make sure to stay away from any heavy furniture.

Teacher’s children found with slain mom after ‘disguised’ husband kidnapped them

0

A beloved Florida teacher was kidnapped by her estranged husband and fatally shot in front of their kids before he turned the gun on himself as police closed in.

First responders found Jamie Felix’s 10- and 17-year-old children – unharmed – sitting with their mom, who died at the scene.

Felix was a 45-year-old middle school teacher at Manatee Academy K-8 School in Port St. Lucie, where she was crowned “Teacher of the Year,” according to the school’s social media posts.

“Jamie Bukoski Felix is a beautiful soul who will live forever in the hearts of those who love her. She loved her children to depths that words can’t express,” her friend wrote in a tribute post on Facebook. “She was incredibly brave and resilient. She had the most amazingly contagious laugh, especially when something delighted her.”

Felix and her estranged husband, 60-year-old Ray Felix, were going through a messy divorce that reportedly included previous incidents of domestic violence, before she was killed late Friday evening.

Ray was armed and disguised when he snuck up on Jamie and the kids in a business parking lot in Port St. Lucie around 4 p.m, forced everyone into his rental car and sent a “suspicious email to her coworkers,” Acting Police Chief Richard Del Toro said during a press conference.

“The email from what I understand was basically that she had lied about the domestic violence incident, which we know not to be true,” Del Toro said.

Her coworkers reported the email to the police around 6:30 p.m., but the situation had already spiraled out of control.

By that time, Ray forced his 17-year-old son into his rental car and made him follow his mom’s SUV, which headed south into West Palm Beach.

Jamie drove the SUV with a gun pointed at her head, according to police, while their 10-year-old son was in the back seat.

They finally stopped and pulled into a parking lot near a hotel for “unknown reasons,” West Palm Beach Police spokesman Mike Jachles told local newspaper TCPalm.

Ray and Jamie got out of the SUV, and Ray fired multiple shots at his wife.

The kids watched their mom collapse to the ground, as their dad sped off in the rental car.

That was around 7:30 p.m., when West Palm Beach police were flooded with 911 calls.

Jamie was pronounced dead at the scene, and responding officers found Ray about a quarter-mile from the rental agency after he returned the car.

As the officers approached, Ray shot himself, Jachles said. “No officers fired any shots or anything. . . . He appeared intent on one thing, and that’s taking his life.”

Family, friends, coworkers and students – past and present – penned tributes to the late teacher on social media and her obituary.

A local Facebook group called Slscanner, which emphasized that it doesn’t post videos, pictures and tributes without consent, shared this video of Jamie’s students surprising their teacher.

Jamie was known for her love of University of Michigan sports and coached basketball, according to her obituary.

“She was genuinely thankful for every kindness she received, she was brilliant but humble (she had absolutely no idea how gifted and beautiful she was),” Monica Jackman wrote on Facebook.

“She was fun and funny and witty and could make me cry with laughter, she was compassionate, she was loyal and dedicated, she was a girl’s girl who lifted up her friends at every opportunity.”

Burglary crew allegedly nets up to $30M in one of the largest cash heists in LA history

0

It’s being called one of the largest cash heists in Los Angeles history.

a burglary crew allegedly broke into a vault of a money storage facility in the San Fernando Valley and got away with up to $30 million.

The burglars reportedly broke into the GardaWorld facility, located near the intersection of Roxford Street and San Fernando Road in Sylmar, either through the side of the building or the roof and managed to open a vault to where cash was being stored without setting off any alarms. The crew was so stealthy and malicious, that no one even noticed the money was gone until Monday when employees opened the vault, which showed no obvious signs of a break-in.

GardaWorld has branches worldwide and over 132,000 employees. It specializes in cash services, which include ATM services and armored truck transport. According to its website, some of its clients are Fortune 500 companies and even U.S. and international government agencies.

officials with the Los Angeles Police Department said they are doing a joint investigation with the FBI.

No arrests have been announced in the case and the investigation is ongoing.

The theft comes nearly two years after as much as $100 million in jewels and other valuables were stolen from a Brink’s truck at a truck stop near Los Angeles. The thieves have not been caught.

Discovering Sitia, Crete’s Hidden Gem of History, Beaches, and Gastronomy

0

Sitia, nestled on the northeastern coast of the captivating Greek island of Crete, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and laid-back charm, Sitia offers visitors an authentic Cretan experience away from the bustling crowds often found in other parts of the island.

Location and Accessibility:

Sitia is located in the Lasithi region of eastern Crete, Greece. While it may not be as well-known as other destinations on the island, reaching Sitia is relatively easy. The most common way to get there is by flying into Sitia Airport (JSH), which offers both domestic flights from Athens and some international connections. Alternatively, visitors can opt for a scenic drive from Heraklion, the capital of Crete, which takes approximately two and a half hours. The journey from Agios Nikolaos, another major town in Crete, is around one and a half hours by car.

What is Sitia Famous For?

Sitia is famous for its unspoiled beauty, charming ambiance, and rich cultural heritage. Here are some highlights that make Sitia stand out:

1.         Venetian Fortress: Dominating the skyline of Sitia is the Venetian fortress perched on a hill overlooking the town. Dating back to the 13th century, this well-preserved fortress offers panoramic views of the surrounding area and provides a glimpse into Sitia’s historical significance.

2.         Pristine Beaches: Sitia boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in Crete, with crystal-clear waters and golden sands. Vai Beach, renowned for its palm forest, is a must-visit, while other favorites include Kouremenos Beach for windsurfing enthusiasts and Itanos Beach for its secluded coves.

3.         Archaeological Sites: History buffs will appreciate the plethora of archaeological sites scattered throughout the region. The Minoan settlement of Petras, located just outside Sitia, offers insights into ancient Cretan civilization, while the nearby Toplou Monastery showcases stunning Byzantine architecture and a fascinating museum.

4.         Cretan Cuisine: Sitia is a paradise for food lovers, with its tavernas and restaurants serving up delicious Cretan cuisine. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample local specialties such as dakos (rusk salad), lamb kleftiko (slow-cooked lamb), and fresh seafood caught daily from the Aegean Sea.

Best Time to Visit Sitia:

The best time to visit Sitia depends on individual preferences and interests. However, the months of May to October generally offer the most favorable weather for exploring the outdoors and enjoying the beaches. During this time, temperatures are warm, and rainfall is minimal, making it ideal for swimming, hiking, and sightseeing.

Additionally, visiting Sitia during the shoulder seasons of spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) can be rewarding, as the weather is still pleasant, and the tourist crowds are fewer compared to the peak summer months. Nature enthusiasts will particularly enjoy the blooming wildflowers in spring and the changing colors of the landscape in autumn.

While Sitia is enchanting year-round, it’s essential to note that some attractions and services may have limited operating hours during the winter months (November to March), and the weather can be cooler and wetter, although still relatively mild compared to other parts of Europe.

Sitia, Crete, offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and culinary delights, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking an authentic Cretan experience. Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, basking on sun-kissed beaches, or savoring the flavors of traditional Greek cuisine, Sitia promises an unforgettable journey off the beaten path.

Georgia woman kidnapped, burned, cut in attack as she was leaving work

0

A Georgia woman was kidnapped, burned and cut by an assailant as she was attempting to leave work, according to her family.

The victim’s family told DeKalb County Police the woman, who is in her 60s, was leaving work at an accounting firm along Montreal Road in Tucker on Wednesday when she was attacked, WXIA reported. The exact time the incident began is unclear, but the firm closes at around 5:30 p.m. and the victim’s family believes it happened shortly after closing.

The family said a man approached the woman and demanded she let him inside the business. But she refused and the man forced her into her vehicle, made her drive to an ATM and told her to withdraw money.

During this incident, the man cut the woman across her body, including her face, and at some point he burned her face, the family said.

The man then forced the woman to drive back to her job, where she managed to escape.

The woman was able to drive a few hundred yards down Montreal Road to DeKalb County Fire Station 22, where Fire Captain Shaneqwa Eafford told reporters only one crew member was awake, according to WXIA. The woman made enough noise in the parking lot to catch the attention of the crew member, who woke up Eafford and the other firefighters.

The fire station contacted the police, who were dispatched to the area at around 9 p.m. for the reported kidnapping and assault.

Eafford said the entire crew was at the station, including their ambulance, when the woman showed up.

“We had a DeKalb Fire Rescue transport unit in the house that was able to take her immediately; no wait at all,” Eafford said.

“It was a blessing for her to be able to come to us and for us to be here as well,” she added.

Police said detectives have been working to find evidence to help identify and locate the suspect.

The victim’s family said she remains in the hospital, having undergone at least one surgery since the attack.