Day: April 17, 2017


Arrests of illegal immigrants reportedly jumped 32 percent in Trump's first months

Arrests of illegal immigrants are reportedly up by one-third in the early weeks of the Trump administration, with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) making more than 21,000 arrests. 

The Washington Post reported Sunday that the total, from January 20 through mid-March, jumped 32.6 percent from the same period one year ago, when there were more than 16,000 arrests. 

The report stated that most of the arrests were of convicted criminals, but noted that there were 5,441 arrests of non-criminal aliens, more than double the total from last year. 

Adam Housley reported this morning that ICE detainers – requests to local authorities to hold criminal aliens – are up 75 percent, to more than 22,000.

In an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” DHS Secretary John Kelly said the definition of “criminal” has not changed, “but where on the spectrum of criminality we operate has changed.”

For example, he said ICE agents may move to deport an individual with multiple DUI offenses. He said in the past, those individuals would have been “unlikely” to be deported.

“The law deports people. Secretary Kelly doesn’t. ICE doesn’t. It’s the United States criminal justice system that deports people,” he said.

Watch Housley’s report above and see the interview with Gen. Kelly below. 

Media Analyst Calls Out MSNBC Reporter’s ‘Brazen’ Questions to Debra Messing

Dem State Rep to GOP Woman: ‘I Wanted to Punch Her in the Throat’

That Time Sean Spicer (Really) Dressed as the White House Easter Bunny

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By Tuvan Gumrukcu and Humeyra Pamuk

ANKARA/ISTANBUL President Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in a referendum on Sunday to grant him sweeping powers in the biggest overhaul of modern Turkish politics, but opponents said the vote was marred by irregularities and they would challenge its result.

Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast and its three main cities, including the capital Ankara and the largest city Istanbul, looked set to vote “No” after a bitter and divisive campaign.

Erdogan said 25 million people had supported the proposal, which will replace Turkey’s parliamentary system with an all-powerful presidency and abolish the office of prime minister, giving the “Yes” camp 51.5 percent of the vote.

That appeared short of the decisive victory for which he and the ruling AK Party had aggressively campaigned. Nevertheless, thousands of flag-waving supporters rallied in Ankara and Istanbul in celebration.

“For the first time in the history of the Republic, we are changing our ruling system through civil politics,” Erdogan said, referring to the military coups which marred Turkish politics for decades. “That is why it is very significant.”

Under the changes, most of which will only come into effect after the next elections due in 2019, the president will appoint the cabinet and an undefined number of vice-presidents, and be able to select and remove senior civil servants without parliamentary approval.

There has been some speculation that Erdogan could call new elections so that his new powers could take effect right away. However, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek told Reuters there was no such plan, and the elections would still be held in 2019.

Erdogan himself survived a failed coup attempt last July, responding with a crackdown that has seen 47,000 people detained and 120,000 sacked or suspended from their jobs.

In Ankara, where Prime Minister Binali Yildirim addressed cheering supporters, convoys of cars honking horns clogged a main avenue as they headed toward the AK Party’s headquarters, their passengers waving flags from the windows.

But opponents questioned the validity of the vote, calling for a recount and challenging a last minute decision by the electoral authorities to allow ballots to be counted that were not stamped by election officials.

The head of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu, said the legitimacy of the referendum was open to question. His party said it would demand a recount of up to 60 percent of the votes.

The chairman of the electoral board said the decision to allow unstamped ballots to be counted was not unprecedented, as the government had allowed such a move in the past.

Kilicdaroglu has accused Erdogan of seeking a “one-man regime”, and said the proposed changes would put the country in danger.

In some affluent neighborhoods in Istanbul, people took to the streets in protest while others banged pots and pans at home – a sign of dissent that was widespread during anti-Erdogan protests in 2013.

In Istanbul’s Besiktas neighborhood, more than 300 protesters brought traffic on a main street to a standstill, a Reuters cameraman at the scene said. In Ankara, scuffles between AK Party and opposition supporters broke out near the headquarters of the CHP.


Turkey’s lira firmed to 3.65 to the dollar in Asian trade following the referendum, from 3.72 on Friday.

European politicians, however, who have had increasingly strained relations with Turkey, expressed concern. The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, said the close result meant that Ankara should seek “the broadest national consensus” in implementing the vote.

Relations hit a low during the referendum campaign when EU countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, barred Turkish ministers from holding rallies in support of the changes.

Erdogan called the moves “Nazi acts” and said Turkey could reconsider ties with the European Union after many years of seeking EU membership.

Former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, who heads the liberal group of MEPs in the European Parliament, said Erdogan needed to change course, noting the result was very tight. “If Erdogan persists, EU should stop accession talks,” he said.

Manfred Weber‏, leader of the center-right grouping tweeted: “No matter the result: with his referendum Pres. Erdogan is splitting his country.”

After the vote Erdogan repeated his intention to review Turkey’s suspension of the death penalty, a step which would almost certainly spell the end of Ankara’s EU accession process.

Further deterioration in relations with the European Union could also jeopardize last year’s deal under which Turkey has curbed the flow of migrants – mainly refugees from wars in Syria and Iraq – into the bloc.


The referendum has bitterly divided the nation. Erdogan and his supporters say the changes are needed to amend the current constitution, written by generals following a 1980 military coup, confront the security and political challenges Turkey faces, and avoid the fragile coalition governments of the past.

“This is our opportunity to take back control of our country,” said self-employed Bayram Seker, 42, after voting “Yes” in Istanbul.

“I don’t think one-man rule is such a scary thing. Turkey has been ruled in the past by one man,” he said, referring to modern Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Opponents say it is a step toward greater authoritarianism.

Erdogan and the AK Party enjoyed a disproportionate share of media coverage in the buildup to the vote while the leaders of the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP), which opposes the changes, have been in jail for months.

“I voted ‘No’ because I don’t want this whole country and its legislative, executive and judiciary ruled by one man,” said Hamit Yaz, 34, a ship’s captain, after voting in Istanbul.

Proponents of the reform argue that it would end the current “two-headed system” in which both the president and parliament are directly elected, a situation they argue could lead to deadlock. Until 2014, presidents were chosen by parliament.

The government says Turkey, faced with conflict to the south in Syria and Iraq, and a security threat from Islamic State and PKK militants, needs strong and clear leadership.

The package of 18 amendments would give the president the authority to draft the budget, declare a state of emergency and issue decrees overseeing ministries without parliamentary approval.

(Additional reporting by Nick Tattersall, Ece Toksabay, Gulsen Solaker, Tulay Karadeniz, Orhan Coskun, Ercan Gurses in Ankara; Isabel Coles, Can Sezer, Birsen Altayli, Behiye Selin Taner, Ceyda Caglayan, Ebru Tuncay and Akin Aytekin in Istanbul, Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels; Writing by Dominic Evans and Daren Butler; Editing by Keith Weir, Adrian Croft and Bill Rigby)

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Drones smuggling porn, drugs to inmates around the world

Inmates for years have thought of ingenious — and sometimes very compromising ways — to sneak contraband inside prison walls. They’ve bribed guards, used carrier pigeons, had relatives put the goods in body cavities and, of course, who can forget a classic routine: baking a file into a cake.

But modern technology is quickly making life easier for inmates — and less uncomfortable for family and friends — looking to smuggle illicit goods onto prison grounds.

Corrections officials across the U.S. have reported an uptick in the last few years of drones flying over penitentiary walls to deliver everything from cigarettes and pornography to drugs and weapons to inmates.

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Prison officials in Michigan last spring found a small toy drone on the grounds of the Charles Egeler Reception and Guidance Center. While the drone was too small to haul in any contraband, officials said that it was probably used to probe the jails defenses and security for a future mission.

“It’s funny because it’s truly a toy that came over. But in the larger sense, it is a very serious incident,” Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Chris Gautz told Prison Legal News.

The incident in Michigan was followed by similar instances in Oklahoma, Ohio, South Carolina and Georgia to name a few, and has led some state officials to call for a revamping of prison facilities and tactics to go after these midair menaces.

A piece of legislation currently bouncing around Washington state’s capitol building would make flying a drone within 1,000 feet of the perimeter of a correctional facility without permission a Class C felony. Similar legislation has been introduced in Michigan — as Senate Bills 487 and 488 — making it a felony to operate drones within 1,000 feet of a prison.

One of the most popular drones on the market — the DJI Phantom 4 — clocks in at a total weight of 3 pounds and can fly at least 4 miles away from its operator without losing its video stream or remote controls. While the Phantom can carry just over 1 pound while in flight, its more beefier brother, the DJI S900, has a maximum payload of just under 7 pounds — meaning that anyone looking to drop around $2,000 can deliver a sizable care package to their buddies on the inside.

In the spring of 2015, South Carolina announced that extensive resources would be implemented to prevent drones from accessing state prisons — including building new watch towers for guards to more easily spot approaching drones. This move came shortly after guards at the Lee Correctional Institution discovered a downed drone during a routine perimeter check that had crashed while carrying cellphones, marijuana and tobacco over prison walls.

The issue of drones invading prisons isn’t solely a problem in the U.S.

Prisons in Canada, Brazil, Russia, Australia, Thailand, Greece and England are all struggling to combat the rise of the relatively inexpensive robotics.

Canadian officials are draping nets over perimeter fences or walls to thwart drones, while law enforcement in Ireland is going old school with wires and sharp eyes to hunt down any approaching drones.

The United Kingdom announced earlier this week the formation of a “specialist squad” that will be tasked with investigating drone smuggling nationwide and passing that information down to local-level officers to act on.

The threat of drones is not just limited to prisons, as countries across the globe are on the lookout for terrorists and other criminal groups using the evolving technology to carry out deadly attacks.

Following incidents of drones flying over the presidential palace and restricted military sites — along with the deadly 2015 Paris terror attacks — the French Air Force has trained four golden eagles to intercept and destroy the rogue aircraft.

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Democrats throw millions, Hollywood punch into Georgia House race

Democrats are pumping millions into the Georgia congressional election set for Tuesday, hoping a 30-year-old political upstart who’s attracting star power can deliver a rebuke to President Trump and help the party reclaim lost momentum. 

Hollywood has even come out for the off-cycle vote, with actor Samuel L. Jackson cutting a radio ad urging voters to flip the seat once held by Republican Tom Price, who is now Trump’s health secretary. 

“Vote for the Democratic Party. Stop Donald Trump, a man who encourages racial and religious discrimination and sexism,” Jackson says in the ad, casting the race as a chance to undermine the Republican president and throwing in “Pulp Fiction” references for good measure. “We have to channel the great vengeance and fury we have for this administration into votes at the ballot box.” 

Democrats tried a similar tactic last week in their failed bid for the open seat of Kansas’ Mike Pompeo, arguing a win in that conservative district would prove just how eager Americans are to end Trump and fellow Republicans’ control of Washington. 

Washington Democrats, however, put essentially no resources into the race. By contrast, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee staffers are on the ground in Georgia, and supporters have given top Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff  $8 million-plus, with 80 percent of the money coming from outside the state.   

Republicans have held the suburban Atlanta seat for nearly four decades. However, Democrats saw an opening for an upset after Trump last year narrowly defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in that district, while Price won with 61 percent of the vote. 

Democrats also see a win as a catalyst for them in the 2018 midterm elections, though Republicans would still have a roughly 44-seat majority in the House and a four-seat advantage in the Senate. 

The race Tuesday features 18 candidates — 11 Republicans, five Democrats and two independents. To outright take the so-called “jungle primary,” the winner must get more than 50 percent of the vote. If not, the leader would face the second-place finisher in a runoff.

Ossoff is expected to get the most votes but not the majority, likely sending him and one of the Republican candidates to the June 20 runoff.

Trump and other Washington Republicans have gotten into the act — a clear indication of their desire to keep the seat and blunt any momentum toward a possible 2018 Democratic comeback. 

“The super Liberal Democrat in the Georgia Congressioal (sic) race tomorrow wants to protect criminals, allow illegal immigration and raise taxes!,” Trump tweeted Monday.

He also tweeted Sunday: “The recent Kansas election (Congress) was a really big media event, until the Republicans won. Now they play the same game with Georgia-BAD!”

Republican field staffers also have been dispatched to Georgia. A GOP political action committee backed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has spent more than $2 million attacking Ossoff.

In addition, the amount of money going to Ossoff is also a liability.

“I don’t care what party you’re from,” said Marty Aftewicz, a 66-year-old Republican voter from Marietta. “If the money’s coming from outside the district, it’s dirty. … Anyone raising that much outside money can’t represent me.”

Republicans have also run a barrage of campaign ads trying to tie the 30-year-old Ossoff to House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, and portray him as too sophomoric and inexperienced to govern.

The Congressional Leadership Fund super PAC, for instance, is running ads showing him pretending to be “Star Wars” character Han Solo while attending Georgetown University.

“Jon is being bankrolled by the most extreme liberals,” said Karen Handel, a former secretary of state and one of Ossoff’s Republican challengers. “No one is naive enough to think that he will not be beholden to those who are bankrolling him.”

Ossoff, nevertheless, pledges to be an “independent voice” in Congress. And he defends his campaign as a grassroots success powered by small and medium donors.

Ossoff is a former staffer to Rep. Hank Johnson and intern for civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, Georgia Democrats now supporting Ossoff in the race.

Though he could get the most votes Tuesday, national Republicans think he would lose in June to Handel or fellow GOP candidates Bob Gray, a technology executive, or Dan Moody or Judson Hill, former state senators.

Handel vows to work with Trump on common-ground issues but says her job is to “be a voice for people of the 6th District.”

Gray says he would be a “willing partner” in the effort to fulfill Trump’s legislative agenda.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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What you need to know if you miss the tax deadline – VIDEO: How to crush tax season

The deadline to file taxes this year is April 18, and even though 70% of Americans are expected to receive a refund according to the IRS, many will still miss the cutoff date.

Last year 111 million refunds were issued, with an average payout of $2,860. For those who are going to miss the deadline – don’t panic – but be prepared to act quickly.

Here is what you need to know if you are not prepared to file and pay your taxes by Tuesday.

File an Extension:

The best thing you can do if you know you are going to miss the deadline? File for an extension.

“File Form 4868 to extend the time for filing return. The extension could be effective for filing as late as October 16,” Ted Kurlowicz, professor of taxation at The American College of Financial Services, told FOX Business. 

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There are a variety of reasons people might need to file an extension, whether they don’t have all their sources of income and expenses identified or they need assistance, Tim Speiss, partner at EisnerAmper Wealth Planning LLC, told FOX Business. However, filing for an extension does not mean you also extend the timeline to pay your taxes.

“To have a valid extension generally—you need to pay in 90% of the tax due at the time of the filing, so in that case by April 18. If you can’t do that, pay in as much as you possibly can to avoid further potential late-filing and interest charges,” Speiss said.

So filing a 4868 form with payment, which can be done online, will keep you in the IRS’ good graces for the time being.

File and Pay as Soon as Possible

Generally people who miss the deadline either ran out of time or didn’t have the money, Kurlowicz said.

“You should do the least harm and file as soon as possible and pay the tax as soon as possible,” he said.

If you file and pay late you are most likely going to have to pay a price. A penalty is issued first for filing late. This is 5% of the amount of unpaid taxes each month, up to a maximum of 25%. The penalty for paying late is 0.5% of the amount you owe each month up to a maximum of 25%. If both penalties are due in the same month, the failure to file penalty is reduced to 0.5%.

“The late filing penalty could actually be higher than the late tax payment penalty so you should file as soon as possible to do the least harm your personal finances,” Kurlowicz said.

The IRS will not forget about your dues, so make sure you address them promptly.

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Be Proactive

“If a person is late with filing and late paying taxes, if they’re diligent and proactive with the tax authorities, that’s the best way to position yourself for best possible outcome,” Speiss said.

If you have suffered a recent hardship, the IRS also may be receptive to your circumstances.

“You could negotiate penalties and interest, not usually the tax, but with a hardship you might be able to negotiate a tax settlement,” Speiss said.

There is a valid excuse for filing and paying late: being outside the country. In that case the deadline will be extended until June 15, Kurlowicz pointed out.

Ask for Help

If you are unsure of what to do or how to handle your financial situation, consult or request help from a qualified professional.

“It’s a very stressful experience for many people,” Speiss said. “If you’re in a situation where you don’t think you can meet the filing deadline requirement … it’s always best to go out and hire competent tax advisors to assist you.”

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Venezuela illegally issued 10,000 passports to Syrians, Iranians, report says

A former director of Venezuela’s Office of Identification, Migration and Foreigners said that during his 17 months in the post, the socialist government gave at least 10,000 Venezuelan passports and other documents to citizens of Syria, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries.

In an interview with El Nuevo Herald, Colonel Vladimir Medrano Rengifo said the operation was headed by current Vice President Tareck El Aissami.

He said most passports and visas were granted in the Venezuelan Consulate in Damascus, Syria’s capital.

“Today we don’t know where these people are, nor what they are doing,” said Medrano, who currently resides in the United States.


“They can be anywhere in the world, traveling with Venezuelan documentation,” adding that the number of Middle Eastern individuals with irregular Venezuelan documentation could be much larger.

Colonel Medrano was dismissed in October 2009 by El Aissami, who was then Minister of Interior and Justice. According to Medrano, El Aissami fired him because he knew he was trying to dismantle the human smuggling network.

El Aissami, one of the most powerful men in Venezuela, has long been investigated in the United States for his alleged links to drug trafficking and to the Islamist militant group Hezbollah.

In January he became the most senior Venezuelan official to ever be targeted by the U.S., when the Trump administration decreed sanctions against him and Samark Lopez, a wealthy Venezuelan businessman believed to be his front man in Miami.


In the Sunday interview, Medrano told El Nuevo Herald that El Aissami was directly involved in the passport scheme. He said that whenever his office reported irregularities involving Syria-issued passports, El Aissami ordered him to look the other way.

Medrano said the passports were legitimate, but the people carrying them were not Venezuelans.

“[El Aissami] called me every time these flights landed (…) and we tried to detain [the people carrying the suspicious passports]. He pressured us in an excessive manner so this would not be done and let his ‘cousins’ get in, as he called them,” Medrano told the Herald.


Upon review by immigration officials at the airport, Medrano explained, the identity linked to those passports turned out to belong to deceased persons, with a different name.

Venezuela, once the wealthiest South American nation, has fallen on increasingly hard financial times since Nicolás Maduro took power following the death of socialist leader Hugo Chávez in 2013.

A drop in global oil prices has crippled the country’s economy and Venezuela has been plagued with the worst inflation rate in the world, close to 700 per cent last year, according to International Monetary Fund.

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CHOPPER DOWN Blackhawk crashes in Maryland; 1 hospitalized

A military helicopter crashed on a southern Maryland golf course on Monday, injuring one crew member, an official told Fox News.

A U.S. Army UH-60 Blackhawk from Ft. Belvoir, Va. crashed with three crewmembers on board at around 1:50 p.m. near Leonardtown, Ft. Belvoir spokesman Jimmie Cummings said.

One of the crew members was taken by helicopter to a local hospital, but Cummings wouldn’t describe his injuries. The other two members of the crew were okay, Cummings said. Two medevac helicopters were initially sent to the scene to assist.

Kevin Bowen, who works in the pro shop of the Breton Bay Golf and Country Club in Leonardtown, said he saw the helicopter “flying kind of low” and then “saw it spinning” before it went down between the third and fourth holes of the golf course.

Related stories…

The crash came less than two weeks after a fighter jet crashed into a wooded area in Prince George’s County.

The F-16C fighter jet took off from Joint Base Andrews and was participating in a routine training mission before it suffered a mechanical issue and went into a wooded area near Piscataway Road and Steed Road in Clinton, Md., about six miles from Joint Base Andrews and 12 miles south of Washington D.C.

The pilot on that mission ditched the jet and was treated for minor injuries. No one else was hurt 

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more from FOX 5 DC.

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WHO'S ON DEATH ROW? A glimpse of the killers Arkansas wants to execute

Arkansas is fighting to execute seven inmates before a key drug used in lethal injections expires. 

The state initially tried to execute eight. But attorneys for Bruce Ward, one of the men on the list, requested a stay based on mental disability, which was granted by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Of the seven men still on Arkansas’ list, four are black, three are white and all were convicted of murder. Here’s a look at who they are and their crimes: 

Don William Davis, 54
Davis has been convicted in the brutal death of Jane Daniel. Daniel was in her home when Davis broke in and shot her with a .44-caliber gun. Seven years ago, he came within six hours of being executed by the state before the Arkansas Supreme Court halted it and addressed whether legislators had left out key details to the prison staff. Ultimately, the justices tossed out Arkansas’ death row policies. Davis has not sought clemency but has joined other inmates’ various lawsuits. Prison officials moved Davis Friday night to a cell near the execution chamber. Despite the legal limbo, prison officials told Fox News on Monday that preparations would continue for his execution.  

Jack Herold Jones, Jr., 52
Jones was initially scheduled to be put to death April 24 at 9 p.m. CDT. Jones has spent the past two decades on death row for killing Mary Phillips and trying to kill her daughter, Lacy, during a robbery at an accounting office. Phillips was found naked from the waist down with a cord from a coffee pot tied around her neck. Lacy was left for dead but woke up as police photographed her. Jones had taken Lacy to the bathroom and tied her to a chair. Lacy cried and asked Jones not to hurt her mother. Jones told the child, “I’m not. I’m going to hurt you.” He then choked her until she passed out and hit her in the head with the barrel of a BB gun. Jones has said he is “not interested in clemency and has apologized for his actions.” Jones has spent the last 20 years of his life on death row. He’s tried to commit suicide twice and allegedly has been diagnosed with anti-social disorder and is bi-polar, according to The Forgiveness Foundation. Jones began using hard drugs from an early age.

Kenneth Dewayne Williams, 38 

Williams was initially scheduled to be executed on Thursday, April 27. Williams spent the last 17 years of his life on Arkansas’ death row. Williams grew up in a very violent home and was exposed to drugs, alcohol and physical abuse from an early age.  He also had developmental disabilities which alienated him from his friends in school.  He was convicted of murdering Cecil Boren in 1999. Three weeks after his conviction, Williams escaped by hiding in a container of hog slop being ferried from a prison kitchen to a prison hog farm outside the main gates. While in prison, Williams said he had killed another person in 1998. He gave a one-minute, 15-second speech in front of the parole board where he accepted full responsibility for his actions.

Stacey E. Johnson, 47 

Johnson was put on death row for the murder of Carol Heath in 1993. Heath was beaten and strangled and had her throat slit while her two young children were hiding in the home. Heath’s daughter, Ashley, has said she’s forgiven Johnson but wants him to admit he killed her mother. Johnson has refused and has strongly maintained his innocence. His initial conviction was overturned when the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that a police officer should not have told jurors that Ashley, who was 6 at the time and found incompetent to testify, had picked Johnson out of a photo lineup. Johnson has spent 22 years on Arkansas’ death row. 

Ledell Lee, 51
Lee is sentenced to die for the 1993 murder of Debra Reese, his neighbor. He beat Reese 36 times with a tire tool her husband had given her for protection. Lee was apprehended less than an hour after the grizzly death, trying to spend the $300 he had stolen from her. DNA evidence has also linked him to the disappearance of Christin Lewis, 22. Lee is also serving time for the rapes of a Jacksonville woman and teenager. He is scheduled to be executed Thursday, April 20. Ledell has spent the last 21 years of his life on Arkansas’ death row.

Marcel Williams, 46
Williams was found guilty of the rape and murder of Stacy Errickson. Williams abducted the mother of two when she stopped for gas in Jacksonville, Fla. He then drove around to multiple ATMs and had her take out $350. Errickson never arrived at work that day nor did she pick up her child from the babysitters. Her body was found badly beaten and bound in a park two weeks later. Williams confessed to killing Errickson. He’s also been linked to assaults on two other women. He is scheduled to be executed on Monday, April 24. 

Jason F. McGehee, 40 
McGehee beat to death Johnny Melbourne, Jr., for telling police who was behind an Arkansas theft ring. While several people are accused of beating and torturing the 15-year-old Melbourne, co-defendants claim McGehee did most of it. During his trial, McGehee asked the jury for mercy and said he had grown up in a dysfunctional family and had a violent childhood. He was forced to watch as his father killed two of his pets.  He also watched his step-father beat another pet, which died from its injuries. McGehee claimed his mother would force him to sleep outside for days and deny him food. The jury convicted him in 90 minutes. He is scheduled to be executed on Thursday, April 27.


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Dad's response to daughter's pants-wetting accident at school goes viral

A Utah dad is receiving online praise for his “Billy Madison”-like reaction to hearing about his daughter’s bathroom accident at school. On Friday, Ben Sowards showed up to collect his 6-year-old crying daughter with his own pants wet, Fox 13 News reported.

He told the news outlet that he was heartbroken after hearing about his daughter Valerie’s embarrassment, and splashed some water on his pants before leaving the house. He reportedly arrived at the school’s front office and asked Valerie if he could borrow her backpack to cover up his own “accident.”

Valerie’s older sister, Lucinda, was on hand to capture the moment and shared it on Twitter, where it quickly went viral. Lucinda, the oldest of the family’s 11 children, told Fox 13 that the Sowards are adopting four of their foster children on Monday and are passionate advocates for foster care.


She told Buzzfeed News that when she once fell ice-skating, Soward FaceTimed her with a painted-on black eye to match hers.

As of Monday afternoon, Lucinda’s original tweet about Soward’s pants-wetting has been retweeted more than 62,000 times and has garnered more than 253,000 likes.

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Kenyans Kirui, Kiplagat win 121st Boston Marathon

Kenya’s Geoffrey Kirui won the 121st Boston Marathon on Monday, pulling away from American Galen Rupp with about two miles to go to win in an unofficial time of 2 hours, 9 minutes, 37 seconds.

Rupp, a three-time Olympian making his Boston debut, was 21 seconds behind and Japan’s Suguru Osako was another 30 seconds back. Americans had six of the top 10 finishers in the men’s race and two of the top four women.

Kenyan policewoman Edna Kiplagat won the women’s race in 2:21:52, needing only one try in Boston to add it to wins in London, New York and Los Angeles. She pulled ahead of Rose Chelimo of Bahrain in the Newton hills to win by 59 seconds.

“When I was running, my body was feeling good,” said Kiplagat, who was greeted at the finish line by two of her children. “I tried to push more, hard and I saw my (rivals) were not picking up the pace.”

American Jordan Hasay, making her debut at the distance, was third and Desi Linden was fourth — the first time since 1991 that two U.S. women have finished in the top four.

The warm temperatures that hit 79 degrees at the 20-kilometer mark in slowed the runners but the strong tailwind was a boost — especially for the wheelchair races.

Marcel Hug won Boston for the third time, outpushing 10-time champion Ernst Van Dyk and finishing in 1:18:04 to beat the course record and world best by 21 seconds. Fellow Swiss Manuela Schar shattered the women’s mark by more than five minutes, winning in 1:28:17.

The winners’ times on the point-to-point Boston course are considered a world best and not a world record because of the possibility of a supportive tailwind like the one on Monday.

Related stories…

“The wind is so important,” Hug said. “The roads were good. Everything was fantastic today.”

Earlier Monday, city officials announced plans for memorials to mark the sites where two bombs exploded during the 2013 Boston Marathon.

City officials and the families of five people who died in the bombing or its aftermath say there’s also a plan to build a separate, larger memorial to victims, survivors and responders.

Pablo Eduardo is a Massachusetts resident and internationally known sculptor. He’ll create the memorial markers on Boylston Street where bombs killed three spectators and wounded more than 260 others.

Eduardo said Monday his goal is to “embody the spirit of those we lost and the spirit of the city they loved.”

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