Woman admits beating 2-year-old son to death for ‘whining’

Published: Thursday, February 09, 2017 @ 1:08 PM
Updated: Thursday, February 09, 2017 @ 1:08 PM

(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

A Canadian woman pleaded guilty this week to manslaughter in the 2014 death of her toddler son, who she said she beat to death out of frustration over his “whining.”

 

The Calgary Herald reported that Livia Starlight awaits sentencing in the slaying of 2-year-old Traezlin Denzel Starlight. Starlight’s defense lawyer is seeking mercy, citing her status as a member of the Tsuut’ina Nation, one of the predominant aboriginal peoples of Canada.

 

Starlight, 30, was initially charged with second-degree murder. She was arrested in July 2015 after an investigation into her son’s death.

 

Crown prosecutor Photini Papadatou told the Court of Queen’s Bench on Monday that Traezlin was in and out of foster care throughout his short life because of Starlight’s drug and alcohol use, the Herald reported. Starlight was already under investigation for previous injuries to the boy on Sept. 18, 2014, when she said she grew frustrated by his behavior.

 

“When he started whining again, she picked him up off the floor and threw him onto the couch,” Papadatou said, according to the Herald. “While the cushions of the couch are soft, the arms of the couch are quite hard.”

 

When Starlight realized a few moments later that Traezlin was in distress, she texted her mother for help, the newspaper reported. “My baby’s not breathing. I’m scared,” read the text, which also asked Starlight’s mother to call for help.

 

Traezlin went into cardiac arrest in an ambulance on the way to Alberta Children’s Hospital and died a week later, the Herald said.

 

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At the time of the fatal beating, Starlight was under investigation for a head injury that Traezlin suffered in August 2014, when she had him out of his foster home for a visit. In that case, Starlight claimed that her son fell out of his car seat and onto his head.

 

There were at least two previous incidents of alleged abuse as well, beginning in June 2014. In those instances, Starlight blamed the bruises on her son’s foster parents and Calgary police investigators could not determine the cause of the injuries.

 

“It was noted Livia Starlight would not cooperate with investigators, and she refused to provide a statement,” read a statement of agreed-upon facts presented in court on Monday. “The children were left in Livia’s care while the investigation proceeded.”

 

Traezlin’s autopsy showed evidence of multiple head injuries, including at least two inflicted in the month between the start of the most recent investigation into Starlight’s treatment of him and the day he suffered his fatal injuries.

 

The Herald reported that the autopsy also found bruises on the toddler’s abdomen and buttocks.

 

Alain Hepner, Starlight’s defense lawyer, is seeking a term of four to six years in prison for his client, who he claims has suffered a lifetime of racism and discrimination as an aboriginal person. Justice William Tilleman has ordered a psychiatric evaluation of Starlight, as well as a Gladue report on her background.

 

According to the Washington Post, a Gladue report is a presentencing report that takes into account the level of prejudice against aboriginal peoples in Canada’s criminal justice system. Proponents of the reports say the documents contribute to a “restorative approach” to justice.

 

Critics liken the reports to get-out-of-jail-free cards that lead to inconsistent administration of justice, the Post reported.

 

“A court worker will delve into the dynamics of Starlight’s life -- the growing-up years, the economic and social issues that surround the family and what contributed to this matter,” Hepner told the Post. “I think a lot of information will come forward from the psychiatric report and the Gladue report that will paint her, in my view, as a very sympathetic person.

 
“Some cases are awful and the people involved are just plain evil. But this is not one of those cases.”

Texas officer arrested, accused of stealing $830 in groceries from Walmart

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 2:41 PM

SECAUCUS, NJ - NOVEMBER 20:  Shoppers enter the Wal-Mart store November 20, 2007 in Secaucus, New Jersey. 
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
SECAUCUS, NJ - NOVEMBER 20: Shoppers enter the Wal-Mart store November 20, 2007 in Secaucus, New Jersey. (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

A police officer in Texas has been arrested, accused of stealing over $800 in groceries from a Walmart, law enforcement officials said.

Christopher Hankins, 30, is a Dallas Police Department officer, WFAA reported. He was arrested at a Denton County Walmart Wednesday, accused of leaving the store with $830 in groceries and not paying for them.

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The store's manager told police that Hankins was wearing his police department jacket, and spent almost three hours in the store, acting suspiciously. Arresting officers reported smelling alcohol on Hankins' breath.

Hankins has been with the Dallas Police Department since 2014, WFAA reported. He has been placed on administrative leave pending and investigation.

Police: Self-professed ‘voodoo priest’ arrested in death of Ollie the pit bull

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 1:11 PM

Brendan Evans, 31, was charged with aggravated animal cruelty.
Palm Beach Post
Brendan Evans, 31, was charged with aggravated animal cruelty.(Palm Beach Post)

A man, who Florida detectives believe fatally stabbed and left a pit bull named Ollie in a suitcase is behind bars.

Brendan Evans, 31, was charged with aggravated animal cruelty Wednesday, the Palm Beach Post reported. 

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>> Ollie the pit bull, found beaten, stuffed in suitcase, dies

Hollywood police said that DNA evidence left on the suitcase is what linked Evans to the Oct. 11 crime, where Ollie was found behind an abandoned building with 30 stab wounds and died days later. 

During the investigation, Evans allegedly told police that he was “a voodoo priest” and it was “his right to kill” animals if he wanted, according to WPLG

>> Stabbed, beaten dog found inside suitcase in Florida

Detectives reportedly found rats with their scalps removed, cat paws and blood in Evans’ refrigerator, the Palm Beach Post reported. There was also a CrimeStoppers poster of Ollie ripped in two, WPLG reported.  

“We will not tolerate any form of animal cruelty or violence in our city. Each reported case of animal cruelty, be it physical abuse or neglect, is disturbing, and this case is particularly heartbreaking,” said Acting Police Chief Chris O'Brien. “We were all pulling for Ollie to survive, but unfortunately he didn't make it. However, due to our investigation, we are now able to provide justice for Ollie.” 

>> See who was recently booked into the Palm Beach County Jail  

Man cited after fight with older man over handicap parking space

Published: Thursday, November 23, 2017 @ 10:17 AM

A Massachusetts man was cited after a dispute over a handicap parking space.
Boston25News.com
A Massachusetts man was cited after a dispute over a handicap parking space.(Boston25News.com)

An altercation over a handicap parking space in front of a Boston Market was caught on camera Wednesday afternoon.

The 11-second video, which was shared across Facebook and with Boston 25 News, shows a younger man push an older man, knocking him to the ground.

The altercation started because the younger man, who isn’t being identified because he isn’t facing criminal charges, was sitting in his truck in a handicap parking spot.

When the older man approached him with his handicap placard in hand and asked for the space, things turned physical.

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“All he said was ‘my car is running and I’m allowed to sit here,’” Marcie, the woman who recorded the video, told Boston 25 News. “The word entitled is exactly what came to my mind at the beginning.”

In the video, Marcie can be heard telling the men she recorded what happened and was going to call 911, but that apparently didn’t stop it from continuing.

“After the older gentleman was on the ground, he got back up and they started to fight again, actually worse. I wish I got that (on) film,” she said.

The Swampscott Police Department tell Boston 25 News officers responded to the altercation. Officers say the man who was knocked to the ground declined to press charges, but the younger man was issued a citation for illegally parking in a handicap spot.

Xenia man is fatality in 3-vehicle Greene County crash, OSHP says

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 12:54 PM
Updated: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 7:20 PM

SKY 7 FOOTAGE: Driver, dog killed in 3-vehicle crash in Greene County

Authorities have identified the man who died in a three-vehicle accident in Greene County Wednesday afternoon.

Zachary McDaniel, 25, died at the scene of the crash at Clifton Road and State Route 72, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said in a statement.

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One of two dogs in the vehicle with him was killed as well. 

He was wearing a seat belt when he drove his white Isuzu Rodeo onto 72 from Clifton Road and was hit by a Ford dump truck headed south on 72.

McDaniel’s vehicle continued forward after impact and struck a semitrailer headed north on 72.

Robert Thornton Sr., 73, of Dayton, was driving the dump truck. He was checked at the scene for injuries.

Waylon Throckmorton, 35, of Lucasville, the driver of the semitrailer, was not injured.

Alcohol and/or drugs do not appear to be factors in the crash, which remains under investigation, according to the state patrol.

A medical helicopter was initially placed on standby.

S.R. 72 and S. River Rd. in Miami Twp. in Greene County. A three vehicle crash is reported. Google Map
Man, dog killed in Greene County crash