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Boyfriend convicted of killing woman's 2-year-old daughter

A Georgia man was sentenced to life in prison for beating his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter to death, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office said. 

William Gaddy grabbed, kicked and hit Addisyn Sanders “with enough force to bruise her entire body,” Fulton District Attorney Lauren Travis said in a statement. 

>> On Airport employee with autism ID’d as body found in Yellow River

On June 16, 2015, Gaddy and his brother, Colby Fields, were watching the girl while her mother, Tiffany Harris, went to work, according to the Fulton District Attorney’s Office

Authorities say the girl was playing video games with Fields before she left his bedroom. A short time later, Fields heard Addisyn yelling “no” and “stop” followed by three loud bangs on a nearby wall. 

Fields then saw his brother carrying the girl’s limp body into a bedroom, where Harris later found her when she returned home from work. Sanders claimed he dropped Addisyn while they were playing. 

Addisyn was taken off life support June 19, 2015. 

The Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office determined the girl died from severe damage to the brain and skull

“Little Addisyn Sanders had so much life to live, but because she had the unfortunate fate of crossing paths with (Gaddy),” Travis said in court. “She will never have her first day of kindergarten. Her mother, Tiffany Harris, will never be able to tell her another goodnight story or tuck her into bed one last time.” 

>> Read more trending news 

Manager fired, woman charged after movie theater altercation goes viral

A movie theater manager in Pennsylvania has been fired after an altercation with a woman and several teenagers that was caught on cell phone camera video went viral.

The incident happened at the Phoenix Theater in North Versailles last month, WPXI reported.

>> Read more trending news 

According to police paperwork, a group of teenagers had been thrown out of the theater and went back inside. That's when police got involved and escorted them out of the building.

Melanie Carter started recording the incident with her cell phone -- more than 1 million people have seen the approximately 80-second video -- and tells Officer Christopher Kelley she was looking out for the girls.

The video shows the exchange of words and at one point the theater manager is heard calling the girls "animals," WPXI reported.

Kelley tells Carter she needs to leave the property but the arguing continues, as she says her children are still inside the theater.

Video then shows Carter being handcuffed and saying, "Get off of me ... what are you doing?!"

In the complaint, Kelley wrote, "She was struggling with me and refused to put her hands behind her back, laying on them and pulling them away from me."

People who have seen the video wonder whether Kelley went too far.

"It was a lot of precautionary measures that he could've took to avoid all that, but he chose the route he did," said Drew White.

While it's unclear what happened immediately before and after the video, Heather Soto of Elizabeth said it shouldn't have ended the way it did.

The theater has fired the manager seen in the video, saying, "We determined that the manager's conduct does not reflect our values, his training, or our policies. This is certainly not the way we treat people."

Carter is facing four misdemeanors including failure to disperse and resisting arrest.

Man fears for life, accuses wife of poisoning him with antifreeze

An Arizona man says he fears for his life after he claims his wife of 34 years poisoned him with antifreeze, according to court documents released Friday.

>> Read more trending news 

Randy Eskelson said in his court statement that there is proof that his wife, Connie Eskelson, 66, purchased lab-grade ethylene glycol, the active ingredient in antifreeze. The court documents did not offer a motive, but Randy Eskelson told the court he fears for his safety if his wife is released from custody while awaiting trial, claiming his wife had a hidden firearm, reported.

Connie Eskelson was arrested Thursday on an attempted murder charge for the incident that took place last August, reported. Randy Eskelson was found unconscious Aug. 21 and taken to the hospital, where testing uncovered a potentially lethal dose of ethylene glycol in his system, reported. While Randy Eskelson had no brain activity upon arriving at the hospital, he eventually made a full recovery, according to court documents.

Authorities believe Connie Eskelson poisoned her husband's drinks over a period of time.

Eskelson was taken to the Maricopa County Jail, with her bond set at $700,000, reported.

Man stabs woman at bus stop because he 'doesn't like gay people'

Tennessee man was arrested and charged with stabbing a woman at a bus stop because he "does not like gay people," police said.

>> Read more trending news

According to the Memphis Police Department, the victim was standing at the bus stop Thursday when Gaylord Marcellus McDowell, 39, walked up to her. 

Police said the suspect came up to the victim “in attack mode.” She asked him to stop, and then the two got into an argument. 

Things escalated when McDowell pulled out a knife and allegedly stabbed the victim in the breast, police said. 

A bus driver then drove up to the stop and the woman hopped on to get away. 

When police arrested McDowell in the area, he told them he did not know the victim but said he did stab her in the chest.

"I already know what the police got me for, for that girl!” McDowell allegedly said. Officers found a knife on McDowell, who allegedly said, “That's the same knife I had the other day.”

McDowell was taken to the Ridgeway Police station for further questioning. At some point, he told officers that the victim was gay and, “he does not like gay people." 

McDowell is charged with criminal attempt-second-degree murder.

He is being held on $80,000 bond.

Accused Alabama school shooter, sister mug for camera after his release on bail

The sister of an Alabama teen accused of fatally shooting a classmate on campus Wednesday posted a lighthearted selfie, complete with flowery Snapchat photo filter, of her and her brother after he was released on bail Friday afternoon. 

The photo was posted by Makiya Barber, who identified herself as the sister of Michael Jerome Barber, the Huffman High School junior charged Friday with manslaughter in the death of Courtlin La’Shawn Arrington. Both Arrington and Michael Barber were 17.

Michael Barber, who also faces a gun charge for allegedly bringing the pistol onto the Birmingham high school’s campus, was booked earlier Friday, with bail set at $75,300.  

[The social media post was made private after the publication of this article.]

“Out the big ole gate!” Makiya Barber wrote in the caption of the photo. “Y’all can stop the fake friend request(s) now. God still gotta plan for the kid!”

In the selfie, it appears that Makiya Barber is seated in the front passenger seat of a vehicle, her brother stretched out in the backseat. Police officials said that Michael Barber suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg in the shooting, which took place around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday as students were dismissed for the day.

The siblings mug for the camera in the photo. Digitally added flower crowns sit on their heads. 

Makiya Barber’s friends were jovial, expressing gratitude that her teen brother was out of jail. 

“Y’all get him some real food,” one woman wrote. 

“He got his fav, McDonald’s, lol (laugh out loud),” Makiya Barber responded.  

A young man asked about Mike Barber’s injury.

“His leg OK? Can he still make it out the bay with football?” he asked. 

Michael Barber, a junior at Huffman, plays wide receiver for the Huffman Vikings. His status as a student was not clear Friday, though Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring spoke Wednesday night about losing two of the city’s students, Arrington to a bullet and Barber to the consequences of the shooting. 

Makiya Barber responded that she didn’t know her brother’s outlook in football yet, but that the teen’s leg was in pain., whose reporters talked to Arrington’s family, reported that the bullet that struck the senior and aspiring nurse pierced her heart and exited through her back. Though CPR was begun at the school and was continued as she was rushed to UAB Hospital, Arrington was pronounced dead about 30 minutes after the shooting. 

In previous posts about the shooting, Makiya Barber argued that the shooting that killed Arrington was an accident. 

“And what y'all NOT about to do is make my brother out to be this horrible unparented child,” she wrote in one post. “All the he say, she say ... we have the facts! Rest in peace, baby girl, and my brother is gonna come out stronger and wiser.”

[The social media post was made private after the publication of this article.]

Another post pointed out the fact that detectives have footage of the shooting. 

“The police have footage and facts, so the countdown to see my brother is on! Mike Mike, I know you hungry!”

The post included several hashtags, including one offering prayers for the Arrington family and one that stated, “Everything for a reason.”

Police have not released a possible motive for the shooting, but investigators’ initial thoughts about the shooting possibly being accidental were dashed after they viewed camera footage of the shooting. The source of the video footage has not been made public. 

Arrington’s family told in Birmingham that the pair never dated and that they have no idea what brought on the shooting. 

“She didn’t know him,” Arrington’s mother, Tyeasha Tatum, told the news site. 

Arrington, who was due to graduate in two months, had already been accepted into college, where she planned to study nursing. Her Facebook page, which has since been turned into a memorial page, includes an introduction that reads, “SEN18R. Dream come true, gotta chase it. Future RN.”

Her last photo that she posted of herself appeared to be taken in the hallway of the school. It was posted the day before she was killed. 

Her photos also include images of her wearing scrubs. 

Tatum told that her daughter’s two siblings were at the school when the shooting occurred. Tamera Tatum, a 19-year-old senior, was already on the bus to head home and Gera’Micah Tatum, 16, was about to join her. 

One of Courtlin Arrington’s friends called her mother and told her about the shooting, Tatum said. She initially hurried to Huffman, but learned her daughter was already at the hospital.

When Tatum finally saw her, it was to identify her body. Tatum, who said she would jump in her daughter’s bed each morning and “kiss on her face,” was not allowed to touch her during the identification. 

The family is now preparing a funeral for Arrington, which will be held on March 24, the same weekend as the prom the teen was so looking forward to. 

“Her father had just ordered her prom dress online,” Courtlin’s grandfather, Zach Arrington, told, “and she didn’t even know it yet.”

Football player charged with manslaughter in Alabama high school shooting

An Alabama high school junior has been charged with manslaughter in a shooting on campus Wednesday afternoon that left a female classmate dead.

Michael Jerome Barber, 17, of Birmingham, is also charged with one count of certain persons forbidden to possess a pistol, according to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office. 

The second charge stems from allegations that Barber brought the pistol that killed Courtlin La’shawn Arrington, also 17, onto the campus of Huffman High School, the DA’s office reported in a news release

Arrington, a senior and aspiring nurse, was pronounced dead at UAB Hospital about 30 minutes after the shooting, which took place around 3:45 p.m. during student dismissal. District Attorney Mike Anderton’s office reported for the first time Friday that the shooting took place in a classroom. 

“The District Attorney’s Office has examined the investigation of the Birmingham Police Department and the evidence collected by BPD,” Anderton said in a statement. “They have talked with many of the students in the school, in the classroom where the shooting took place and collected evidence from the scene.”

Based on that evidence, warrants were issued for Barber’s arrest, Anderton said. 

“Our hearts go out to the family of Ms. Arrington, all of her friends and those whose lives would have been changed through her nursing dreams had this event not occurred,” Anderton said. “This is a parent’s worst nightmare. We expect the charges will be heard through the court system and justice meted out to the person responsible.”

No motive for the shooting has been released. Anderton said on Friday, however, that his office “stands strong with the Huffman High School Vikings, the Birmingham school board and the Birmingham Police Department in denouncing the continued use of firearms by anyone to settle disputes.”

“This is especially true for the students of our county, where they should be and feel safe in the learning environment of a school,” Anderton said

It was unclear if there was a dispute between Barber, a junior and wide receiver for the Huffman High Vikings, and Arrington. 

>> Read more trending news reported that Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring acknowledged Thursday that Huffman High has two working metal detectors, but that the devices were not in use the day of the shooting. Herring said she has already requested additional metal detectors for the school district. 

The school also had three school resource officers on campus Wednesday, but their whereabouts when the shots were fired have not been made public, said

Police investigators initially believed the shooting to possibly have been accidental since Barber was also injured, but they began to question that idea after viewing video recorded of the incident. The source of that video has not been made public. 

As the investigation progressed, detectives took Barber, who suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg, into custody as a person of interest. Barber, who had been held in the Birmingham City Jail since being released from the hospital, was moved Friday to the Jefferson County Jail, where his bail had been set at $75,300. 

He was apparently bailed out of the county jail Friday afternoon. A woman named Makiya Barber, who identified herself as Michael Barber’s sister, posted a photo on Facebook that showed him in street clothes, sitting in the backseat of a car.

A photo filter put flower crowns on the siblings’ heads as they mugged for the camera. 

“Out the big ole gate!” Makiya Barber wrote. “Y’all can stop the fake friend request(s) now. God still gotta plan for the kid!”

[The social media post was made private after the publication of this article.]

In previous posts, Makiya Barber argued that the shooting that killed Arrington was an accident. 

“And what y'all NOT about to do is make my brother out to be this horrible unparented child,” she wrote in one post. “All the he say, she say ... we have the facts! 

“Rest in peace, baby girl, and my brother is gonna come out stronger and wiser.”

Another post pointed out the fact that detectives have footage of the shooting. 

“The police have footage and facts, so the countdown to see my brother is on! Mike Mike, I know you hungry!”

The post included several hashtags, including one offering prayers for the Arrington family and one that stated, “Everything for a reason.”

Arrington, who was due to graduate in two months, had already been accepted into college, where she planned to study nursing. Her Facebook page, which has since been turned into a memorial page, includes an introduction that reads, “SEN18R. Dream come true, gotta chase it. Future RN.”

Her last photo that she posted of herself appeared to be taken in the hallway of the school. It was posted the day before she was killed. 

Her photos also include images of her wearing scrubs. 

During a news conference held inside the school Wednesday night, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin spoke of the grief of losing a girl with a bright future. 

“I know that there’s an active investigation going on, but I just want to remind all of us we lost a person today, and not just a person, a student,” Woodfin said. “But I’m quickly reminded this is not just a student, this is someone’s daughter. Someone’s niece. Someone’s best friend. Someone’s granddaughter we lost. 

“This is a 17-year-old who, 30 days from now, would be 18. A graduating senior who had been accepted into college already, who had aspirations and dreams to be a nurse. So, we’re not just talking about some person. We’re talking about losing a part of our future. And our hearts are heavy.”

Herring kept Huffman High closed on Thursday, but the school’s doors reopened to students, faculty and staff Friday. The night of the shooting, she described Arrington as “one of (the district’s) brightest and best scholars.”

She told that Birmingham students will honor Arrington during the National School Walkout next Wednesday. They will stand outside for 18 minutes instead of 17, adding Arrington to the 17 students killed on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.  

Man accused of killing 92-year-old roommate over her snoring

A New York City man was arrested early Thursday morning, accused of smothering his elderly roommate because he thought she snored too loudly, police said.

Enrique Leyva, 47, also served as a caretaker for Veronica Ivins, 92, for the past three years, neighbors in the pair’s SoHo neighborhood told the New York Post. Ivins lived in her rent-controlled apartment for at least 50 years, the neighbors said. 

The Post reported that it was Leyva who dialed 911, telling dispatchers he’d killed his roommate. NYPD officers who responded to the call said they found Ivins semi-conscious in her bed.

She was later pronounced dead at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, the Post reported. Citing police sources, the newspaper reported that Leyva admitted he held a pillow over Ivins’ face, then manually strangled her. 

>> Read more trending news

Video shot by reporters at the scene showed Leyva being removed from the Sullivan Street apartment building in handcuffs. 

Neighbor Brooklyn Lastra told WPIX that Leyva moved in with Ivins when the elderly woman’s daughter was dying of cancer. 

“It seemed he kind of weaseled his way into the apartment because she had no one else and didn’t want to be alone,” Lastra told the news station. “When the daughter passed, unfortunately, he stayed permanently.”

The Post reported that neighbors said they noticed Ivins’ normally neat, clean apartment begin to deteriorate to the point that the gas was cut off and mice and roaches began to infest the home. They also told the newspaper they heard Ivins and Leyva arguing loudly and often. 

Multiple neighbors said they called the authorities, including Adult Protective Services, to report possible abuse and neglect.

“I called 311, I called APS, and not once, but twice,” Megan Loveland told NBC New York. “Not only did I call, but other people called.”

Lastra described Ivins as an active woman who liked to travel, play bingo and see to her daily activities before Leyva moved in. 

“She went from wearing nice clothes and fur coats to wearing oversized T-shirts with holes in them that were covered in stains,” Lastra told the Post

The distraught neighbor lamented what she saw as a lack of action by authorities.

“You had multiple people in this building who were calling multiple agencies,” Lastra said. “This did not have to happen. She deserved better.” 

Baby found abandoned in cold hours after being born, police say

Police said they're trying to figure out what led a teenage mother to leave the baby she had just delivered on the doorstep of a home where she was staying early Friday as temperatures plunged below freezing.

>> Read more trending news

Authorities were dispatched just before 3:30 a.m. to the 3700 block of Leisure Lane near College Park, Fulton police Cpl. Partrena Smith told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“A resident at that same location found the baby on the porch and notified police,” Smith told the newspaper.

The baby’s umbilical cord was still attached. Officials rushed the child to Grady Memorial Hospital for an evaluation. The baby’s condition was not immediately released.

Officers said a 17-year-old woman admitted that she had given birth to the child. She was taken to the hospital as well.

Police said Friday they're still trying to determine exactly what happened.

‘Hit him again’: Judge repeatedly orders man shocked in court, forces new trial

A Texas appeals court has overturned the guilty verdict of a man who a judge ordered shocked repeatedly with a stun belt during his trial. 

Terry Lee Morris, who was serving 60 years in prison for soliciting the sexual performance of a child, has been granted a new trial in the case, according to Texas Lawyer. Morris’ original trial was before 396th State District Judge George Gallagher.

Gallagher declined to comment when contacted by The Washington Post

Gallagher’s actions against Morris, 54, are laid out in the transcripts from his 2016 criminal trial in Fort Worth, according to the opinion issued Feb. 28 by Texas’ 8th District Court of Appeals.

“The trial transcript clearly shows that the trial judge, during a heated exchange with the defendant outside the presence of the jury, ordered his bailiff to electrocute the defendant three times with a stun belt -- not for legitimate security purposes, but solely as a show of the court’s power as the defendant asked the court to stop ‘torturing’ him,” the opinion written by Justice Yvonne T. Rodriguez stated

A stun belt is a device that is placed around a defendant’s leg or ankle during transport to and from court, as well as during a trial. If the defendant becomes violent or otherwise out of control, a shock can be delivered to subdue the person. 

Each shock delivered in the incident with Morris sent 50,000 volts through his body, Rodriguez wrote

Morris was then removed from the courtroom. He was offered the opportunity to return several times during his one-day trial, but told his trial lawyer he was afraid to do so. 

Because of Gallagher’s actions, which the court found violated Morris’s constitutional rights, Morris’ guilty verdict was overturned and his case remanded for a new trial. 

“While the trial court’s frustration with an obstreperous defendant is understandable, the judge’s disproportionate response is not. We do not believe that trial judges can use stun belts to enforce decorum,” Rodriguez wrote. “A stun belt is a device meant to ensure physical safety; it is not an operant conditioning collar meant to punish a defendant until he obeys a judge’s whim.”

The issue began even before testimony in Morris’ trial began, when Gallagher asked Morris for his plea in the case. Morris was accused of soliciting nude photos from the 15-year-old daughter of an ex-girlfriend. 

Morris refused to answer, instead pointing out that he had a pending federal lawsuit against both Gallagher and his own attorney, Fort Worth defense lawyer Bill Ray. The judge ordered the jury out of the courtroom and warned Morris about further outbursts.

Gallagher told Morris that any additional disruptions would lead either to him being removed from the courtroom or to use of the shock belt on him.

“All right, sir,” Morris said.

“Now, are you going to follow the rules?” Gallagher asked.

“Sir, I’ve asked you to recuse yourself,” Morris replied.

“Are you going to follow the rules?” Gallagher asked again.

“I have a lawsuit pending against you,” Morris said.

“Hit him,” Gallagher told the bailiff, who complied. 

After the first shock, Gallagher again asked if Morris would behave. The defendant responded by telling Gallagher he has a history of mental illness and was a client of MHMR (My Health My Resources), a community mental health center. 

“Hit him again,” Gallagher told the bailiff, according to the appeals court

Read the entire appeals court ruling below.

After the second shock, Gallagher continued asking Morris the same questions, while Morris accused the judge of torturing him. Morris said he was firing his attorney, at which point Gallagher began asking him about invoking his right to represent himself.

Morris continued to talk about his lawsuits and his mental health history, telling Gallagher he was “wrong for doing this” and that he was “torturing an MHMR client,” the transcripts showed.

“I take 17 pills a day for my disability, my MHMR disability,” Morris said. “You have no right to do this.”

“Are you going to behave?” Gallagher asked. 

“I have the right …,” Morris said.

“You have no right to disrespect the Court,” Gallagher said. 

The dispute continued as Morris again said he was firing his lawyer and the judge stating that they can discuss that decision. When he asked Morris how far he went in school, Morris said that was “beside the point.”

“There’s serious allegations that I have in the United States District Court against this man. No one wants to be represented by someone they have a lawsuit against,” Morris said. “No one wants a judge to preside over their case who the lawsuit is against. No one wants to be tortured because they’re an MHMR defendant, prevented from saying anything in the Court in front of the jury pertaining to any such cases such as the grand jury ….”

“Mr. Morris, are you going to answer my question?” Gallagher asked. 

“I’ve asked you, I’ve filed a motion asking …,” Morris began.

“Would you hit him again?” Gallagher asked the bailiff. 

“… to recuse yourself from the bench off my case,” Morris finished.

When Morris continued to talk after the third shock, Gallagher had him physically removed from the courtroom, the appeals court opinion stated. The judge found that Morris’ demeanor was “sufficient enough to have the defendant removed from trial and he will not be present in the courtroom until he continues, until he exhibits appropriate behavior or demeanor or wishes to come back into the courtroom,” the transcripts said. 

Neither the prosecutors nor the defense attorney objected to Gallagher’s actions, and the trial proceeded without Morris. 

The appeals court pointed out that Gallagher later read into the record his reasons for using the shock belt, which included what he called Morris’ increasing agitation. 

“Let the record reflect that within about five feet from where the defendant was standing there is an 87-inch electronic Smart Board that weighs over 200 pounds that is readily within reach of the defendant, that had he grabbed that board, could have brought it over to the counsel table to affect the safety of the lawyers, Mr. Ray and the two prosecutors that would be sitting within anywhere from three to five feet if he went the other way,” Gallagher said. “It was based on the totality of his continuing escalation and his movements that the Court ordered that the shock belt be initiated. It was done for the safety of the lawyers and all of the participants.”

Morris returned to court only briefly during the penalty phase after the jury found him guilty. 

>> Read more trending news

In ordering the reversal of Morris’ conviction, the appeals court determined that, despite the statement Gallagher read into the trial record, the judge had used the stun belt to enforce his standard of decorum for his courtroom, not for security purposes.

“Never before have we seen behavior like this, nor do we hope to ever see such behavior again,” Rodriguez wrote in the court’s opinion. “As the circumstances of this case perfectly illustrate, the potential for abuse in the absence of an explicit prohibition on non-security use of stun belts exists and must be deterred.”

“We must speak out against it, lest we allow practices like these to affront the very dignity of the proceedings we seek to protect and lead our courts to drift from justice into barbarism.”

Texas Lawyer reported that a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted Morris, declined to comment on the reversal. 

Ray said he did not object to Gallagher’s use of the stun belt on Morris because his client was like a “loaded cannon ready to go off” that day, the magazine said. 

“That guy is out of control,” Ray said. “I was standing right next to him and I was scared of him. And I’ve stood next to some pretty nasty people.”

Lisa Mullen, the attorney who represented Morris on appeal, said she thought it was a “beautifully written” opinion. 

“I was so impressed and proud of our appellate system for standing up for what’s right,” Mullen told Texas Lawyer

She did say, however, that she has known Gallagher for decades and that he has always been fair in her dealings with him.

“I think this was just an aberration and a horrific one,” Mullen said


Miami Beach nightclub shut down after woman rode horse on dance floor

Police are investigating a South Florida nightclub after social media videos surfaced of a woman riding a horse inside the establishment. 

>> Read more trending news 

The videos were taken Thursday night at the Mokai Lounge in South Beach, Miami, according to NBC6.

>> Woman tests hotel’s pet policy by bringing in a horse

The multiple videos, which aren’t embedded due to the nature of the content, show a woman in lingerie riding the animal until she was flung off it when the horse bucked, the Palm Beach Post reported. There is also a large group of people surrounding the animal, which “became startled,” WSVN reported. 

“We are very concerned over the allegations. As such, we have launched a joint investigation with the City of Miami Beach Code Enforcement,” the Miami Beach Police Department wrote on Twitter Friday morning. 

Miami City Manager Jimmy Morales ordered the club's business license to be revoked Friday while the investigation continues.

Read more at NBC6 and WSVN

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