Girl, 2, killed in crash, was not in car seat

Published: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 11:38 AM

A 2-year-old  girl died early Thursday in a two-car crash in Ross Township, Pennsylvania.

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Saryiah Jefferson was not in a car seat, nor was she wearing a seat belt, police say. 

Troopers said if the toddler had been buckled in a car seat, she would have survived.

The crash happened just before 1 a.m. Thursday at the end of the Perrysville Avenue ramp off of northbound I-279. 

According to a report from the Pennsylvania State Police, Taylor Jefferson, 24, of Penn Hills, Pennsylvania, was driving north when he stopped in the left lane and put the car in reverse. His car collided with another northbound car driven by Daniel White, 21, of Pittsburgh. Troopers believe the driver passed the exit and was trying to get back to it.

Taylor Jefferson and another passenger in his car, Tyrek Jefferson, 22, of Pittsburgh, were taken to Allegheny General Hospital along with White. Family friends say Sariyah was Tyrek's daughter.

Strangers stopped at the scene to try to help the victims. One man said he arrived seconds after the crash and tried to get the child out of the car. He described the scene as chaotic. 

A Ross Township police officer drove Saryiah's ambulance so paramedics could treat her on the way to the hospital. 

A cousin of the child told WPXI, "We are all heartbroken. She was only 2 years old, didn't even have a chance at life. She was just too perfect for this earth. We will miss her terribly. We just need prayers to make it through this hard time." 

The outbound Parkway North was closed between the McKnight Road exit and Perrysville for about four hours.

Charges are pending in this case. Police are awaiting toxicology results.

Florida man pepper-sprayed, arrested after attack on elderly man

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 11:09 AM

Police arrested Edwin William Cunningham, 51, after a confrontation on Saturday, May 20, 2017.
Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office

A Florida man was pepper-sprayed and arrested after police deemed he was the aggressor in a physical confrontation with a 79-year-old man, according to an arrest report.

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Edwin William Cunningham, 51, is facing a charge of battery on a person 65 or older and was released from the Palm Beach County Jail on Sunday on his own recognizance.

The dispute took place Saturday at the Boca Raton Community Center during a kids’ baseball game. Cunningham told Boca Raton police he was shouting instructions to his sons when the elderly man suddenly pepper-sprayed him in the face, the report said.

The elderly man told police Cunningham has been aggressive toward him in the past. On Saturday, the alleged victim was sitting in the bleachers with Cunningham’s ex-wife when he saw Cunningham rapidly advancing at him, the report said.

Cunningham allegedly put his hands on the man’s shoulder, who responded by unleashing his pepper spray.

Two witnesses supported the elderly man’s version of the events and Cunningham was arrested.

Texas man guilty of stabbing girlfriend 27 times with screwdriver

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 10:07 AM

Willie Lee Brady pleaded guilty Tuesday during his trial for aggravated assault and accepted a 25-year prison sentence.
Travis County Courts

An Austin man, who stabbed his girlfriend 27 times with a screwdriver when she was recovering from surgery, pleaded guilty Tuesday on the opening day of his aggravated assault trial.

Willie Lee Brady Jr., 40, accepted a 25-year prison sentence, the low end of his punishment range, rather than continuing with the trial and risking up to a life sentence from a Travis County judge.

He informed his attorney of his decision during a break from the victim’s emotional testimony in which she told the court how she was punched, choked and stabbed on the morning of Dec. 4, 2015, during a fight with Brady over money he said was missing. The day before, the woman had been discharged from the hospital after foot surgery.

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About 11:30 a.m., police responded to a disturbance at a Motel 6 in South Austin. The woman said Brady, her boyfriend of two years, shoved her in the face, prompting her to call hotel security to have him removed, according to the arrest affidavit. But the violence continued, with Brady striking her in the mouth with a closed fist, she said.

The woman grabbed a screwdriver from her purse and slashed at Brady, cutting him above the eye, but he knocked the screwdriver loose, threw her to the bed and applied his forearm to the front of her neck, a police affidavit says. The woman told police she could not breathe for several seconds and was seeing stars.

She suspected Brady was high on “wet,” or embalming fluid, according to the affidavit. Prosecutors said they think he was under the influence of PCP.

A struggle for the screwdriver ensued, and Brady got to it first. He stabbed the victim repeatedly, striking her in the legs, buttocks, abdomen and left forearm, which required stitches, the affidavit says. Police found the screwdriver outside of the room under a jacket belonging to Brady.

According to the indictment, Brady had four previous felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and a felony conviction for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.


Bill Cosby lawyers criticize lack of minority jury candidates

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 11:00 AM

NORRISTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA - MAY 24: Actor and comedian Bill Cosby arrives for a preliminary hearing on sexual assault charges at Montgomery County Courthouse on May 24, 2016 in Norristown, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

With 100 people questioned, attorneys for comedian Bill Cosby say the jury pool is overwhelmingly white and prosecutors are trying to keep black jurors off the panel.

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Cosby's lawyers say of the 100 candidates already questioned, only 16 weren't white. Prosecutors have used their strikes to send two black women home, although they say race was not a factor in those decisions.

Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Steven O'Neill has rejected defense attorneys' allegations of race bias.

Currently, 11 people have been chosen for the jury so far. Ten are white, and one is black. Seven are men, the rest women. One more juror and six more alternates need to be selected.

The third day of jury selection at the Allegheny County Courthouse, Downtown, begins this morning, and Cosby is expected to be present again.


Man jumps on car hood to prevent teen from stealing car

Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 @ 10:40 AM


A 15-year-old boy attempted to steal a car Wednesday morning from a Marathon gas station in west Charlotte, North Carolina, according to police.

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Police said the suspect attempted to steal a car around 12:45 a.m. when the owner left it running on West Trade Street while he went inside the gas station.

The owner of the vehicle saw the car being stolen and jumped on the hood of the vehicle.

The suspect attempted to eject the victim, but crashed the car. He attempted to run from the scene.

A man at the gas station saw the victim jump on the car as the teen was stealing it. Al Deas said he was at the gas station, buying Kool-Aid, when he jumped in to help the victim hold the suspect.

"I come to get Kool-Aid, and I end up catching a carjacker," Deas said.

The suspect was not armed. No one was injured.

The suspect was charged with motor vehicle theft, but because of his age, his name will not be released.