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Man stabs parents, girlfriend with scissors, says he's 'a murderer,' police say

A 25-year-old Massachusetts man has been arrested and accused of stabbing his mother, father and girlfriend in their home late Thursday. 

>> Watch the news report here

Authorities said Benjamin DiCristina stabbed all three with a pair of scissors, leaving his 57-year-old father with life-threatening injuries. Prosecutors later said in court the father was not expected to survive. 

>> On Community on edge after masked man tries to break into home three times

The Middlesex County District Attorney's Office said DiCristina attacked his 28-year-old girlfriend, strangling and stabbing her in the chest. During another altercation, DiCristina allegedly cut his mother, before attacking his father, allegedly stabbing him multiple times in the head and neck.

His mother was treated and released from the hospital, while his girlfriend remains hospitalized with serious injuries. 

The Middlesex District Attorney's Office said police initially responded to a call for a reported stabbing around 10:30 p.m. at a home on Haynes Court.

DiCristina reportedly was found by police in the shower and was taken into custody. According to court documents, after DiCristina was asked if he understood his rights, he replied, "Yes, I'm a murderer."

The DA said DiCristina's family had sought mental health treatment for him earlier in the day, prior to the attack, but he was assessed and released. 

The woman who was stabbed was known to DiCristina, the DA's office said, but they did not initially elaborate on their relationship. Prosecutors later called the woman DiCristina's girlfriend in court. 

>> Read more trending news 

State police said a forensic chemist was also involved in the investigation, but it's not yet clear why.

DiCristina appeared in court Friday on charges of two counts of armed assault with intent to murder, two counts of assault and battery causing serious bodily injury, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, domestic assault and battery, and strangulation. A motion for a dangerousness hearing was filed.

DiCristina was ordered held without bail. He will undergo a mental health evaluation and is due in court on Oct. 25.

Florida dad charged with 2nd-degree murder in baby boy's death

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office in Florida announced the arrest of Charles Deas, 25, after the death of a 3-month-old on June 8. 

>> Watch the news report here

According to JSO, the investigation ruled that 3-month-old boy died as a result of head trauma from possibly being shaken or some type of battery. 

Deas was charged with second-degree murder and aggravated manslaughter Friday after an interview on Wednesday, where Deas admitted his actions, JSO said. 

According to an arrest report, JSO was called to an apartment on Labelle Street on June 7 in reference to an unresponsive child. The child was taken to Wolfson Children's Hospital, where the boy died. 

Deas is the child's father, the JSO report said. On June 7, Deas told JSO that the child was left on a bed and that he heard a thud when he was in another room. 

>> Read more trending news 

The next day, an autopsy was performed, and the medical examiner ruled the death a homicide. The child suffered head trauma, the report said. 

Deas was interviewed at JSO headquarters on Oct. 3 and arrested and charged the same day. 

Kansas City fire captain charged with selling guns illegally to felons

A captain in the Kansas City Fire Department was charged with illegally selling firearms to people he allegedly knew were felons, the Kansas City Star reported.

>> Read more trending news 

James Samuels, 52, was charged in U.S. District Court with the sale of a firearm and ammunition to a prohibited person and knowingly transferring a firearm for use in a crime of violence, according to court records.

Samuels was arrested Thursday after an undercover operation, KCTV reported. According to police, Samuels sold a .38-caliber revolver to an informant he knew was a felon. The transaction was made through an undercover federal agent posing as a buyer, the television station reported.

Federal prosecutors said Samuels bought 77 firearms over the last several years and gave some of them to a co-conspirator who reported the weapons had been stolen, the Star reported. Some of the weapons were handguns, while others were AR-15s , the newspaper reported.

“Those who supply dangerous firearms to violent criminals are as much a threat to the safety of our community as the criminals themselves,” Timothy Garrison, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, wrote in a statement. “We will aggressively prosecute not only those who illegally possess firearms, but also the suppliers whose criminal conduct enables them to arm themselves with these weapons.”

Federal prosecutors said Samuels, who has worked for the Fire Department for more than 20 years, purchased mostly handguns over the last several years and that six of those weapons had been used in other crimes.

Samuels is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 11, the Star reported.

Florida woman stole $50K from doctor's office where she worked, police say

A Florida woman was arrested Thursday and accused of stealing more than $50,000 from the doctor’s office where she worked over a five-year period, the Key West Citizen reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Mary Ellen Mitchell-Irizarry, 40, of Tavernier, was arrested on felony fraud and larceny charges Wednesday and released later that day on a $30,000 bond, the Miami Herald reported.

According to an arrest affidavit, detectives began investigating after Eileen Turbessi, a physician at Mariners Hospital, reported that Mitchell-Irizarry had stolen tens of thousands of dollars in cash from the practice, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said. Mitchell-Irizarry had been fired in March, the Herald reported.

After reviewing records from the past six years, detectives found that Mitchell-Irizarry, who was a clerk responsible for depositing cash at the bank, was creating two deposit slips — one for the billing company and one for the bank, the newspaper reported.

Mitchell began making the bogus deposits, which totaled $50,161.27, in January 2013, the Herald reported.

Juan Romero, busboy who cradled dying RFK following 1968 assassination, dies at 68

Juan Romero, who as a teenage busboy was immortalized in photos depicting him cradling a dying Sen. Robert F. Kennedy moments after his 1968 assassination, has died.

Romero, 68, died Monday in Modesto, Calif., several days after suffering a heart attack, a friend told the Los Angeles Times. Romero’s niece and brother confirmed his death. 

Romero was a 17-year-old busboy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 3, 1968, when he met Kennedy, who had ordered room service. The Mexico native told the Times in 1998 that Kennedy had shaken his hand firmly that night and had looked at him with respect. 

“I remember walking out of that room feeling 10 feet tall, feeling like an American,” Romero said

By the next night, Romero was cradling the head of the dying presidential candidate, who was gunned down in the hotel’s pantry moments after winning the California Democratic primary. The teen, who, like Kennedy, was Roman Catholic, pulled his own rosary beads from his pocket and placed them in Kennedy’s hand.

Kennedy died at a hospital early June 6, about 26 hours after being shot. 

Romero recalled the hectic atmosphere of the hotel pantry for NPR’s StoryCorps in June, as the nation observed the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s assassination. As aides led Kennedy through the kitchen following his victory speech in the nearby ballroom, Romero said he rushed to congratulate the senator.

“I remember extending my hand as far as I could, and then I remember him shaking my hand,” Romero told StoryCorps. “And as he let go, somebody shot him.”

The shooter, Sirhan Sirhan, a 24-year-old Palestinian immigrant, was tackled by bystanders, who pinned him against a steam table and wrestled his revolver away from him. Five other people were wounded in the shooting, but all of them survived. 

Sirhan was later convicted of Kennedy’s murder and sentenced to life in prison. 

As Sirhan was held down on the table nearby, Romero tended to the fallen Kennedy.

“I kneeled down to him and I could see his lips moving, so I put my ear next to his lips and I heard him say, ‘Is everybody OK?’” Romero said in June. “I said, ‘Yes, everybody’s OK.’ I put my hand between the cold concrete and his head just to make him comfortable.”

Listen to Romero recall Kennedy’s assassination on StoryCorps below. 

Photos of that moment, shot by photographers from Life magazine and the Los Angeles Times, became the most iconic imagery of Kennedy’s assassination. 

Romero said he could feel Kennedy’s blood, coming from a bullet wound behind Kennedy’s right ear, streaming through his fingers.

“I remember I had a rosary in my shirt pocket and I took it out, thinking that he would need it a lot more than me,” Romero said. “I wrapped it around his right hand and then they wheeled him away.”

The following morning, Romero went to school as usual. He tried to forget the horrific images from the night before, but a woman sitting near him on the bus recognized him from photos in the newspaper. 

As she asked if that was him, Romero said, he looked down at his hands. His fingernails were still stained with the senator’s blood. 

The assassination haunted Romero for the rest of his life. Initially, he said, he got letters thanking him for what he had done for Kennedy. 

He also got angry letters blaming him for Kennedy’s death. 

“One of them even went as far as to say that, ‘If he hadn’t stopped to shake your hand, the senator would have been alive,’ so I should be ashamed of myself for being so selfish,” Romero told StoryCorps

Times columnist Steve Lopez, who spoke with Romero multiple times over the five decades since Kennedy’s death, wrote Wednesday that the infamy of that fateful night eventually got to him. He grew tired of Ambassador guests asking for his picture and moved to Wyoming, where he found work. 

Lopez wrote that he once heard from Maria Shriver, former California first lady and Kennedy’s niece, after he wrote about Romero. Shriver wanted to send Romero a note thanking him for helping her uncle in his final moments of consciousness. 

Upon learning of Romero’s death, Shriver told Lopez that she always felt empathy for him because he seemed to have such a hard time moving past Kennedy’s death. 

“God bless him,” Shriver said, according to the Times. “It’s kind of hard to know why someone gets put into a situation that they’re locked in forever. But as I see it, he was locked into an image of helping someone.”

Romero ultimately ended up back in California, living in San Jose and working as a paver of roads and driveways, NPR reported. He went to Arlington National Cemetery in 2010 and visited Kennedy’s gravesite, where he said he asked the slain senator’s forgiveness for being unable to stop his killing. 

To show Kennedy the same respect he’d shown him in 1968, he wore a suit, NPR reported. 

“When I wore the suit and I stood in front of his grave, I felt a little bit like that first day that I met him,” Romero told StoryCorps. “I felt important. I felt American. And I felt good.”

2 charged in unprovoked attack on family of 4 at gas station

Two Florida residents have been charged after surveillance footage outside a Silver Springs Circle K captured footage last month of their reportedly unprovoked attack on a family, including an 11-year-old girl. 

Julia Marie Napiontek, 18, is charged with battery and aggravated child abuse and Brandon Azora Clanton, 18, is charged with battery and simple assault on a police officer, court records show

Marion County Sheriff’s Office officials reported that three of the four victims were standing next to or sitting in their truck outside the convenience store on Sept. 22 when the attack took place. The surveillance footage shows Napiontek and Clanton approach a blonde woman standing outside the passenger side door and begin to argue with the woman. 

The female victim steps toward Napiontek, at which time Napiontek grabs her by the hair and begins hitting her. The 11-year-old girl, who was sitting inside the truck’s cabin, steps out and rushes toward the blonde woman, at which point Napiontek appears to punch the child in the face and drag her onto the concrete. 

A third female who had been sitting in the bed of the truck jumps out in an apparent effort to help defend her family. Napiontek starts hitting her as well, as the blonde woman cradles the 11-year-old in her lap, appearing to cover the girl’s head with her own body. 

Clanton does not appear to hit any of the female victims, but he can be seen scuffling with a male victim who had been inside the store when the attack began. 

During the melee, a bystander is seen watching the attack and sipping from a fountain drink before walking away and getting into his own car. 

See the surveillance footage of the attack here. Warning: The images may be too graphic for some viewers. 

When the beating is over, Napiontek and Clanton walk away but return to continue the attack. At one point, the 11-year-old is seen fleeing across the parking lot. The blonde woman runs after her and they take cover near the fuel tanks as Clanton and Napiontek get in their car and drive away. 

“Deputies pulled the surveillance footage from the store and easily identified the assailants,” Marion County Sheriff’s Office officials said in a statement.  

>> Read more trending news

Investigators said the Sept. 22 incident is not the first in which Clanton has been charged with violently attacking a stranger. Clanton was out on bond after being charged with aggravated child abuse in an Aug. 23 attack at another convenience store.

In that incident, Clanton was accused of approaching a 17-year-old boy inside the store and hitting him multiple times, again with no provocation. 

“The teenager needed seven stitches on his face because of the unprovoked attack,” authorities said in the statement. “The teenager was just trying to get his grandmother something to drink from the store when he was attacked by Clanton.”

Clanton was out on bond just six days before the Sept. 22 attack. He and Napiontek were arrested Sept. 27 in connection to the latest incident.  

Napiontek has since been released on bond from the Marion County Jail. Clanton is being held without bail. 

Video: Shirtless man wielding machete taken down outside New Orleans City Hall

A New Orleans man armed with a machete was safely subdued Tuesday after a Louisiana state trooper deployed a Taser on the man in a confrontation captured on video.

WWL-TV reported that the man, identified as Willie J. Carruth Sr., 52, was treated at a hospital and booked into the Orleans Parish Jail. Carruth is charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest.

Jail records show that Carruth is also being held on a probation violation.  

Louisiana State Police officials said the trooper arrived on the scene in Duncan Plaza, across from New Orleans City Hall, to find a shirtless Carruth with what appeared to be a machete. In the video, which was shot by a WWL-TV photojournalist, Carruth is seen surrounded by men in suits and uniformed deputies. 

After several moments of yelling and gesturing with the machete in one hand, Carruth appears to remove the weapon from its sheath. The trooper steps closer with his Taser and fires it, causing Carruth to drop to the ground. 

“The trooper assessed the situation and, as deputies assisted, the trooper used his Taser to safely subdue the man,” state police officials said in a Facebook post

It was around 3 p.m. when Carruth showed up in the park, located near city hall’s Perdido Street entrance, reported. It was not clear what Carruth was angry about, but he underwent a mental evaluation at the hospital, the news site said. 

>> Read more trending news

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell called the disturbance an “unfortunate, frightening event” in a statement obtained by

“I’m grateful to all of our law enforcement partners, including our building security team, the NOPD, the OPSO and the Louisiana State Police for moving quickly to resolve the situation,” Cantrell said. “Thankfully, no one was seriously hurt and the individual in question was taken into custody, where he can be evaluated with regard to his mental and medical condition.”

“Mental health issues are a serious component of our commitment to addressing public safety as a matter of public health, and I hope this individual is able to get the treatment he needs.”

Stepmom of Florida boy who died in hot SUV quits job over death threats, principal says

Teachers at a small private school said they're trying to come to terms with the death of a 4-year-old Florida boy who was left in a hot SUV near the school.

>> Watch the news report here

>> Read more trending news 

Elite Preparatory Academy Principal Hong Steele said Logan Starling's stepmother quit her job at the school after receiving multiple death threats made by phone, by email and on social media.

She said threats have also been made against the school since the pre-K student's death Friday.

"We still are heartbroken," Steele said. "It feels like we're all in a dream."

>> On Deputies: Boy, 4, dies after being found in SUV parked outside school

She said many of her staff members have sought counseling.

"He had unconditional love," Steele said. "It's hard for us to talk about this, because he was everything to us. This is a horrific accident, and we can't make sense of it."

She said Logan's teacher didn't question marking him absent Friday, because he had been out sick Thursday.

When Logan's teacher saw his stepmother at dismissal, she mentioned that she had missed having him in class.

Logan's stepmother panicked, ran to her SUV and collapsed, Steele said.

Teachers called 911 and the school's director grabbed Logan's body and ran him to a fire station across the street.

The Florida Department of Children and Families said it is still investigating how the boy was left in the vehicle in which he rode to school with two adults and five siblings.

The agency said it has a history with the family, but it wouldn't elaborate.

>> On 4-year-old left inside hot day care van honks horn until neighbor comes to rescue

"She loved not only her children, but she loved everybody's children," Steele said of Logan's stepmother, who was hired because she was such a dependable volunteer.

She said the woman doesn't deserve to have threats made against her.

"It's just hate of human mistakes," Steele said. "It's hate towards her, and it's sad, because that's not what Logan would have wanted. It's not who Logan was."

She said she feels both grief and guilt, because she typically greets each student as they arrive to school. But Friday morning, she received a phone call and was unable to ask where Logan was when his family arrived to school.

Kavanaugh vote: Georgia teacher Christopher Garrett, aka Squi, interviewed by FBI

A middle school social studies teacher in Roswell, Georgia, has drawn the interest of the FBI as the bureau investigates sexual assault allegations against U.S. Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh.

Christopher Garrett, 53, a resident of Avondale Estates and a teacher at Atlanta Academy, was interviewed by the FBI earlier this week, his lawyer confirmed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday.

William J. Sullivan Jr., a partner at the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Pillsbury, Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, represents Garrett and wrote in an email to the AJC that Garrett “voluntarily cooperated with the FBI inquiry, and has completed his interview.”

>> Kavanaugh vote: FBI report given to White House, Senate Judiciary Committee

Garrett did not immediately respond to an email and phone call from the AJC on Wednesday.

Garrett could be a key figure in the FBI’s investigations into the allegations against Kavanaugh. Last week, he was mentioned several times in testimonies by Kavanaugh and his accuser, California professor Christine Blasey Ford.

According to Kavanaugh’s calendar, which was submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Garrett is listed as attending the July 1, 1982, party in the Maryland suburbs outside of Washington, D.C., where Ford alleges that Kavanaugh sexually and physically assaulted her. Kavanaugh has denied those allegations.

>> Jamie Dupree: Flashbacks to John Tower as Senators review Kavanaugh FBI file

Ford said that she “went out with” Garrett and he introduced her to Kavanaugh. Garrett attended Georgetown Prep with Kavanaugh and was also on the football team with him, according to the Washington Post. He is noted on Kavanaugh’s calendar many times, often under the alias of “Squi.”

According to the calendar, Kavanaugh and Garrett spent a lot of time together in 1982. They went to Washington Bullets and Baltimore Orioles games together, played basketball, went to Garrett’s beach house in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, saw Rocky III and went to St. Michael’s together, a small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Garrett, along with other alumni of Georgetown Prep, signed a July 9 letter of support for Kavanaugh. He lists that he is also a debate coach at Atlanta Academy and lives in Avondale Estates.

>> Read more trending news 

According to online property records, Garrett has lived in DeKalb County since 2000.

Atlanta Academy is a private school on Holcomb Woods Parkway in Roswell. Costs to attend the school range from $10,000 to $23,000 per student, per year. In 2017, it was named as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.

In a Sept. 26 letter to U.S. senators Charles Grassley and Diane Feinstein, Sullivan wrote, “Mr. Garrett has no knowledge or information relating to (Ford’s) claims.”

Man, 28, accused of killing teen ex-girlfriend previously bit, harassed her, family says

The death of 17-year-old LaShonda Childs of Dayton, Ohio, has been “devastating” for her mother, and her family hopes that other women will avoid a similar fate.

“It’s very devastating,” Nina Childs, LaShonda’s mother, said. “It’s something that will be devastating for the rest of my life.”

>> On Court records: Man had history of violence against teen who was fatally shot

On Tuesday, LaShonda was taken to Grandview Medical Center after being shot. She died early Wednesday morning from a gunshot wound to the head. 

LaShonda’s ex-boyfriend, 28-year-old Trendell Goodwin, was arrested Tuesday evening and charged with felonious assault.

Goodwin and LaShonda started dating last September, according to Nina. Shortly after, LaShonda realized Goodwin was not 20, as he initially told her, and Goodwin started showing concerning behavior.

Around January and February, Goodwin bit LaShonda hard enough to draw blood, according to Nina. 

She said Goodwin would also steal LaShonda’s phones and harass LaShonda and her family.

“He was the type of guy who would call you 70 times a day,” Nina said. “Nonstop. It was aggravating as well as annoying and scary.”

>> Read more trending news 

Even after they broke up, Goodwin continued to reach out to LaShonda.

“She was really in the process of leaving,” said her brother, Jaylon Childs.

LaShonda filed for a protection order, but Nina said it was never served because Goodwin kept avoiding it.

Nina also said that her daughter eventually confided in her about how Goodwin treated her.

“LaShonda told me, ‘You know mom he made me walk from our house to his house with a gun pointed at my back. I was scared for my life as well as my family’s life,’” Nina said. 

Nina said she first knew something was wrong Tuesday when police knocked on her door and asked if everything was alright.

“I said, ‘Well as far as I know. Why are you here?’” Nina said.

Police told her that LaShonda had been in an altercation, but didn’t say that she was shot or mention Goodwin.

Nina began calling LaShonda, but couldn’t get an answer.

“I’m still not thinking that my child was shot,” she said.

Shortly after, detectives arrived and asked Nina if she knew what happened between LaShonda and Goodwin.

“I told them there was a protection order in place,” Nina said. “The basic reason was that she did not want to date him. He had posted lots of things on Facebook that he would kill her.”

>> On Dayton hospital considering new five-story building

At that point, detectives told Nina that her daughter had been shot and took her to Grandview Medical Center.

When they arrived, Nina said she had to take a moment before seeing LaShonda.

“I couldn’t see my child like that,” she said. “I just couldn’t do it at that moment.”

Nina called Jaylon and told him what had happened to his sister.

“I was at Walmart shopping,” he said. “I left the cart where it was, dropped everything and headed straight to the hospital.”

When Nina went back to see LaShonda, she said she knew her daughter was dead.

“It was very obvious,” she said. “Looking at her I knew she had already died.”

“It was hard,” Jaylon said. “I’d seen her in the hospital before, but nothing like that.”

Around 1:20 a.m., Nina received a call from Grandview and was told LaShonda had died.

>> On Suspect in Ohio man’s death told family, friends she shot the victim

Both Nina and Jaylon said they hope Goodwin spends the rest of his life in prison with no chance at parole. 

“Whatever happens to him, I can’t get my sister back,” Jaylon said. “As long as justice is served, there may be some peace.”

He also hopes that other women don’t go through the same thing his sister did.

“I just want to tell all the young girls, all the females, families, friends, if you see the signs, don’t ignore them,” Jaylon said. “Do what you got to do. Use the resources. There’s too many out here not to.”

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