FBI: Ex-teacher, teen planned to paddle to Mexico 

Published: Saturday, May 13, 2017 @ 6:45 AM

FBI: Ex-Teacher, Teen Planned to Paddle to Mexico

A former teacher and his student, who vanished from middle Tennessee in March and sparked a 39-day hunt for the 15-year-old girl, planned to paddle to Mexico from Coronado Island in San Diego, CNN reported.

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Tad Cummins and his student, missing since March 13, threw their phones in the Tennessee River, switched licenses plates and disabled their car's GPS device to avoid detection, an FBI agent said. The fugitives were found 1,900 miles away from their Tennessee homes on April 20 at a remote cabin in the northern California town of Cecilville, WRCB reported.

Cummins faces a charge of taking a minor across state lines for the purpose of sexual activity, and will remain in jail until his trial, a judge ruled Friday. FBI agent Utley Noble told CNN that Cummins admitted to having sexual contact with teen “most nights,”

Cummins also bought a tablet to keep up with news on their disappearance, along with a two-person kayak worth $1,500, Noble said. After paddling to Mexico, Cummins and the teen were going to use aliases of a married couple — John and Joanne Castro — so they could blend into the population, Noble said.

They also allegedly switched license plate tags from Tennessee to Alabama, then from Alabama to Colorado, CNN reported.

Before he disappeared, Cummins left his wife a note saying he had gone to Virginia Beach to clear his head, CNN reported.

"Don't call the police. They'll think I ran because I'm guilty and I'm not!" the note said.

Jill Cummins filed for divorce from her husband in late April, citing irreconcilable differences.

Cummins and the girl disappeared March 13 amid a police investigation into their relationship. Cummins, a former high school health sciences teacher in Culleoka, Tennessee, had been suspended in February after a student reported him and the teen kissing in a classroom, CNN reported. 

According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court, Cummins refilled a prescription for Cialis, took out a cash loan, and made hotel reservations in Oklahoma, actions investigators say show he was planning to leave with the girl.

He was fired the day after they disappeared.

Tennessee law allows children older than 12 to decide whether to leave their families unless their removal or confinement "is accomplished by force, threat or fraud," CNN reported. 

If convicted on a charge of taking a minor across state lines, Cummins faces a minimum of 10 years in prison.



Woman who poured Windex into office coffee maker sentenced to prison

Published: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 1:59 PM

Loudon OCA/Twitter
(Loudon OCA/Twitter)

A Virginia woman who admitted putting cleaning products in the coffee maker at her workplace for months was sentenced to prison Thursday.

Mayda E. Rivera-Juarez, 33, who was charged with one count of adulteration of food with intent to injure or kill for the 2016 incident, was sentenced to three years and six months in prison, the Commonwealth Attorney's Office in Leesburg said in a news release.

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Rivera-Juarez admitted to pouring Windex and Ajax dish soap into the coffee maker's water reservoir at Jas Forwarding Worldwide Inc., where she worked, WUSA reported. She tampered with the coffeemaker from January 2016 through October 2016, when she was caught in the act on surveillance video after employees suspected the office coffee was making them sick. She was immediately fired.

Authorities said Rivera-Juarez admitted to tampering with the coffee maker in order to make her supervisor ill. She admitted to pouring Ajax dish soap directly into her supervisor's coffee cup, authorities said.

Rivera-Juarez will serve her sentence in the Virginia Department of Corrections, and will then be placed on three years of post-release supervision.

Police: Man's attempt to carjack football players ends in beating

Published: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 8:52 AM

Carjacker Chose Wrong Victims, Ends in Beating

A man accused of attempting to carjack a group of football players ended up getting a beating, police said.

Angelo Martinez, 21, was seen hanging around a community center in Albuquerque on Aug. 11,  when a group of men were playing football. As the men returned to their car, Martinez asked them for a ride. They obliged, but as they pulled up to an address Martinez provided, he pulled out a gun and demanded they give up the car, KOAT reported. 

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The men exited the vehicle but as Martinez tried to take control of the car, he dropped the gun and one of the men reached in and punched Martinez in the face. The other men joined in, and were able to restrain Martinez, KOAT reported. The men told police they found a knife and a fake gun on Martinez.

Police were called and arrested Martinez at the scene. 

Police investigating after ATM stolen by forklift driver

Published: Saturday, August 19, 2017 @ 1:17 PM


Authorities in Arkansas are investigating the robbery of an ATM by a forklift driver. 

The incident happened Wednesday at a First Service Bank in Conway. 

The driver of the forklift removed the entire ATM and took an undisclosed amount of money. 

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A worker at the First Service Bank told police she noticed damage to the bank when she first arrived to work Wednesday morning. 

Police believe whoever is responsible works at a nearby construction site. 

Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Conway Police Department at 501-450-6130. 

DA: Mom didn’t report molestation due to 'hectic' schedule

Published: Friday, August 18, 2017 @ 2:54 PM

Mom Didn’t Report Molestation Because of ‘Hectic Work Schedule’

A Georgia mother didn’t tell police that her boyfriend sexually abused her 6-year-old daughter because of her “hectic work schedule,” the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office said.

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The boyfriend, Damylo Morrow, was convicted Thursday of sexual battery and acquitted of child molestation after a three-day trial.

The mother pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree cruelty to children for failing to report the abuse and telling the child to lie about it, the District Attorney’s Office said. She was sentenced to eight years’ probation under the First Offender Act and cannot have unsupervised contact with the child for the duration of her probation.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is withholding the identity of mother in this case in order to protect the identity of the child, who is a victim of sexual abuse.

The child’s grandmother brought her to Scottish Rite Hospital in April 2015 and told staff that the girl had been molested on Dec. 31, 2014. The grandmother was aware of the incident shortly after it happened but did not tell police because Morrow was already in jail on an unrelated charge, according to a release from the District Attorney’s Office.

The AJC is also withholding the identity of the grandmother in this case in order to protect the identity of the child.

Morrow massaged the child’s legs and removed her pants before touching her genitals, the child told a Gwinnett County Department of Family and Children Services worker at the hospital.

The child’s mother told a detective she was aware of the allegations in December of that year but didn’t report them because “she had a hectic work schedule” and Morrow denied touching her child, the release said.

When the child and her mother later went to Norcross Police Department headquarters for an interview with a detective, they were placed in an interview room to wait. While in the interview room, the mother told the child to say that Morrow never touched her, the release said.

During the interview, the child initially denied that Morrow had touched her but later told the detective that Morrow had touched her genitals, the release said.

Morrow was sentenced to three years in prison and two years of probation. Upon release, he must register as a sex offender.