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Mon, 04 Dec 2023
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US: Former ESPN Personality Jay Mariotti Charged with Felony Stalking and Assault

© unknown

Former ESPN sports personality Jay Mariotti has been charged with three felonies - - stalking, domestic violence and assault - - after he confronted his ex-girlfriend the same day a court ordered him to stay away from her, prosecutors said.

He pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the charges: stalking, corporal injury on a spouse or domestic partner, and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. He was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of disobeying a court order. If convicted, he faces up to five years in state prison. His next court date is June 1 before Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Keith Schwartz.

In addition to confronting his ex-girlfriend at a restaurant Sept. 30 -- the day he pleaded no contest to one count of misdemeanor domestic violence -- prosecutors said he argued with his former girlfriend again outside of a Venice restaurant April 15. He allegedly pulled a chunk of her hair out and grabbed her cellphone, while shouting at her, prosecutors said.

As part of a deal reached in the original case with the Los Angeles city attorney's office, six other misdemeanor counts against Mariotti were dismissed -- four domestic-violence-related counts, grand theft and false imprisonment.

Eye 1

US: Former New Orleans Police Department Officer Changes Rape Plea to Guilty Just as 15-Year-Old Victim Takes Witness Stand

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Christopher Buckley
The girl wore a pink ribbon in her hair, faux pearl earrings and a grim expression as she reached the witness stand Wednesday, ready to describe how former New Orleans police officer Christopher Buckley raped her multiple times in 2008, when she was 13.

But she never got past her name.

Buckley's defense attorney, Robert Jenkins, called a sudden halt to the trial on its second day just as the teen prepared to testify. Buckley, who served on the force for 10 years, changed his plea to guilty as charged, copping to seven counts of forcible rape. Six of them relate to the sexual assault of the girl, now 15, and the seventh to an alleged attack against a woman in 2003, for which Buckley awaited a separate trial.

Afterward, in a narrow hallway at Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, one of Buckley's relatives allegedly accosted the girl. Police arrested Jasmine Buckley, 20, and charged her with obstruction of justice and intimidating, impeding or injuring a witness, online jail records show. It's not clear whether anyone was injured in the fracas. She was still being booked late Wednesday.

Christopher Buckley, 39, was the boyfriend of the teen's mother, also an officer with the NOPD. He resigned shortly after his arrest on Oct. 21, 2008, after the girl told her mother that Buckley raped her three times that month. The Times-Picayune is not naming the girl or her relatives.


US: Rapper Attends White House Event Despite Criticism

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Despite the best efforts of right-wing pundits and contradicting earlier reports, controversial rapper Common went through with his White House appearance at Michelle Obama's poetry event Wednesday.

Earlier reports suggested that he wasn't there, but a White House video confirms that he showed up later than expected.

The Daily Caller earlier reported that he wasn't in attendance at the afternoon session, saying that when the first lady welcomed the poets who had been invited, she neglected to mention Common, and reporters did not see him at the event. But he apparently showed up for the evening session and even tweeted about his presence there.

It was revealed a few days ago that Common was among the poets that Obama had invited to her poetry session, and the Drudge Report and others immediately noted the rapper's history of violent lyrics, notably directed at police officers. He's also rapped his advice to "Burn a Bush," a reference to President George W. Bush.


US: 3 Men Arrested in Death of Maine Mom Krista Dittmeyer

© The Associated Press
This undated picture made available by Conway, N.H. Police shows 20-year-old Krista Dittmeyer.

Three men have been arrested in the death of a Maine mother whose body was pulled from a pond days after her car was found abandoned in a New Hampshire parking lot with her baby inside, FoxNews.com confirms.

The New Hampshire attorney general's office said in a statement Wednesday that 28-year-old Anthony Papile, of Ossipee, N.H., has been charged with second degree murder in the death of 20-year-old Krista Dittmeyer.

Twenty-three-year-old Trevor Ferguson of Tamworth and 28-year-old Michael Petelis of Ossipee have each been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit robbery.

The young mother's body was found April 27 in a pond in Conway, N.H., about a quarter-mile from where her black Nissan Sentra was found idling in the parking lot of Cranmore Mountain ski area. The car's engine was still running and her baby daughter was found unharmed inside.


US: Tuscan Shooting Suspect, Loughner Writes Letters to Court

Jared Lee Loughner
© Scripps Media, Inc.
The new photo of Loughner was released by U.S. Marshals on February 22.
A judge in Arizona has ordered that two letters recently written by the suspect in the Tucson shooting rampage should be given to his defense attorneys but not prosecutors.

The ruling Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns says defense attorneys for 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner should get copies of the letters because they pertain to the attorney-client relationship.

For that same reason, Burns says the court also determined the letters should not be disclosed to the government.

The judge did not provide any details about what the letters say.

Loughner has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from the Jan. 8 mass shooting that killed six and wounded 13, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.


OK to kill Osama bin Laden? Absolutely, U.S. says

© The Associated Press / Jason DeCrow
With the new One World Trade Center building in the background, second left, a large, jubilant crowd reacts to the news of Osama bin Laden's death at the corner of Church and Vesey Streets, adjacent to ground zero, during the early morning hours of Tuesday, May 2, 2011 in New York.
Was the U.S. right to kill Osama bin Laden? Absolutely, and about time, Americans say.

A new Associated Press-GfK poll shows the nation supporting the raid with rare unanimity - nearly 90 percent.

About 50 percent said it increased the threat of terrorist acts against the United States. Seventeen percent said it decreased the threat, while 31 percent said they believed it had no effect on terrorism.


US: Pastor Regrets Posting Baby TSA Pat-down Photo on Twitter

© Twitter
An unidentified baby is searched by male and female TSA agents at Kansas City International Airport.
The Reverend Jacob Jester said on Wednesday he wishes he never would have posted a picture on Twitter of a baby being patted down by security agents at Kansas City International Airport.

Jester's photograph has been picked up by Internet news and blogging outlets worldwide, making the Independence, Missouri, pastor a hero of sorts to those who think security screening has gone too far.

"I'm not a political person and what happened has taken on a life of its own," Jester said Wednesday. The publicity has interfered with his personal life, said Jester, a pastor for a youth ministry.

He said the level of reaction to the picture is out of proportion to his views on the pat-down. He didn't even want to discuss those views anymore, except to refer to other media interviews in which he said he thought the pat-down was an extreme step.

After posting the photo, Jester said he became concerned the baby's mother would be upset about the publicity. But he said he has heard from her and she was not concerned. The faces of the baby and mother are turned slightly from the camera.

Heart - Black

Revolting! Peace Corps insensitive to volunteers rapes

© Emilie Jacobs-Finnegan / AP
Peace Corps volunteer Catherine "Kate" Puzey of Cumming, Ga., was killed in March 2009 after she complained by email to Peace Corps managers about a local man who worked with the volunteers — who has since been accused of the crime. Puzey's mother testified before Congress Wednesday about how poorly the agency responded to the crime.
It was an extraordinarily dramatic scene, even for Congress: Three Peace Corps volunteers raped while serving overseas, plus the mother of a fourth who was murdered in Benin, complaining to lawmakers about one of the government's most revered agencies.

Their theme was similar: The Peace Corps, which happens to be celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, did little to train its workers about how to avoid or deal with violent attacks. And it reacted insensitively and unhelpfully in the aftermath of the crimes, they said.

"I want the young women who go into the Peace Corps today to be protected," said Carol Marie Clark, who testified Wednesday that she joined the Peace Corps in 1984 at age 22 in Nepal and was raped and impregnated by the program's director there.

Eye 2

US - California Child Kidnapping and Murder Statistics: By the Numbers

missing child
© Unknown
Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnapped on June 10, 1991. Her stepfather witnessed the abduction and chased the kidnappers' car; sadly, to no avail. After 18 years, Dugard was found alive at her kidnappers' home in unincorporated Contra Costa County, Calif. What are the California child kidnapping and murder statistics? The California Child Abduction Task Force offers some sobering numbers.

Black Cat

Man airlifted to hospital after fight with cat

This is a black day for Texas. How could an adult male get so totally owned by a housecat that his injuries would require an air ambulance evacuation? Is this the same state that fought in the Alamo?

No, this has nothing to do with sports. But read the account below and then tell me you're not glad I included it:
A Cleveland (TX) man was attacked by a housecat Friday afternoon and the man's injuries are so severe that he had to be taken by air ambulance to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.

The altercation between the man and the animal occurred at a home on CR 3182 a few miles south of Cleveland in Liberty County.

At some point during the attack, the man and the cat reportedly were injured by a knife the man was holding. The man was taken to Cleveland Regional Medical Center before being transported to Houston.