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breaking news


94-year-old woman escapes through trunk after abduction, police say

Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 3:57 PM

94-Year-Old Woman Escapes Trunk of Car After Abduction

A 94-year-old woman is recovering Wednesday after police said she escaped from the trunk of a car hours after she was abducted from her home in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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Scottsdale police Sgt. Ben Hoster told KPNX that a man knocked on Tuesday morning on the door to the woman’s apartment. Hoster told KNVX that the man forced his way into the woman’s home, located near 68th Street and Camelback Road, around 6 a.m. The woman was bound, put into her car’s trunk and driven away from the scene, according to police.

Holster told KNVX the woman was able to free herself hours later, around 1:30 p.m., while the car was parked at the Scottsdale Fashion Square mall.

A passerby spotted her and called authorities, AZCentral.com reported. She was taken to a local hospital, where she was last listed in serious condition, according to the news station.

Neighbor Laura Davidson told AZCentral.com that she was shocked to hear of the woman’s abduction.

“She was the first one to welcome me when I moved here,” she told the news station. “She came over and said hello and shook my hand, and she was just the sweetest woman.”

Police said the suspect was described as a “clean-cut” white man in his mid-30s.

"The suspect that we're dealing with is very dangerous person,” Hoster told AZCentral.com. “We definitely want to get this person in custody as soon as possible.”

Authorities continue to investigate the case.

Grandma: Toddler who lost mom in shooting keeps waiting for her

Published: Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 3:48 PM

Grandmother Says Toddler Who Lost Mother Still Waits For Her

­­On Thursday morning, Monique Burston sat in court, bracing herself on the shoulder of a man at her side, and listened to how her daughter died, how a 9mm bullet tore through the 21-year-old’s back in a car on Interstate 20 in DeKalb County, Georgia.

Burston thought of her grandson. Demarko Cade Jr., 2, used to go to the window and wait for his mom to get home from work every day, Burston said. The young mom would load him into the car and they’d just drive, to nowhere in particular.

"He's still sitting by the window,” Burston said. 

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The child’s mother, Airiyuanna Burston, died Oct. 26. She’d been riding in her boyfriend’s Jeep on the interstate in DeKalb County when a gunshot flashed from the back seat, traveling through her seat into her.

When police arrived, they found that the boyfriend’s cousin, Gregory Neal, 22, had been seated behind the victim. 

The cousins made up a story about another driver firing into the car in a fit of road rage. But Neal admitted he’d done the shooting after Detective Krischan Payton told him cops found a shell casing in the floorboard where he’d been sitting, Payton testified Thursday.

After “numerous” interviews, Neal offered to take police back to the scene and show them where he’d hidden the 9mm pistol up an embankment.

Payton said Neal told him the pistol had been laying on the back seat under his backpack. Neal said he moved the backpack and somehow accidentally fired the gun, which police believe.

“It was not an intentional shooting,” the detective said.

Payton said he knew of no animosity between the victim and the shooter.

Monique Burston isn’t convinced it was an accident and said she wants police to investigate further and hear out her theories.

Neal is already facing a felony murder charge. 

Under Georgia law, the crime doesn’t require intent to kill; it only requires that a death occurred while someone committed a felony. In Neal’s case, it was a felony for him to have the gun at all because he has felony convictions from a burglary case, police said.

Before the gun fired, Airiyuanna Burston had been working in a warehouse, was about to start a second job and planned to attend Emory University. She wanted to be a lawyer.

Monique Burston hurts for the lost potential and the loss. She worries about her grandson as he waits by the window in the dark. 

“You can see he's empty,” she said.

Man charged with driving lawn tractor while drunk

Published: Thursday, November 16, 2017 @ 5:58 AM

Man Accused of Driving Lawn Tractor While Drunk

A man in Aurora, Illinois, was arrested and charged with driving a John Deere lawn tractor in the street while drunk, WGN reports.

Ruben Garza, 50, faces several charges, including two counts of driving under the influence, after driving the lawn tractor in the street near Fifth and Ashland around 3:40 p.m Friday, police said.

Police said a witness said the man appeared drunk, seemed to be falling asleep and stopped to urinate in a yard in the 400 block of Ashland. Once he got back on his tractor, he almost hit a parked vehicle and began yelling at people as he drove the tractor, police said.

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Police said an officer caught up to Garza in the 1100 block of Lebanon and ordered him to turn off the tractor. While he was being questioned, the officer said he smelled alcohol on Garza's breath and said he was slurring his speech.

The officer said Garza became belligerent and did not believe could be charged with a DUI because he was riding a lawn tractor. Garza then began to swear at the officer and threatened him, police said.

Garza was then taken into custody and the tractor was impounded. Garza also was charged with having no registration and operating an uninsured motor vehicle. He is due in court Dec. 5.

>> See the Facebook post here

Drunk driving is drunk driving… conventional vehicle or not

Posted by Aurora Police Department on Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Texas State fraternity death likely to result in criminal charges

Published: Wednesday, November 15, 2017 @ 1:38 PM

Texas State University's
Texas State University's "Old Main" was built 1903 in Victorian Gothic style.(Anne Rippy/Getty Images)

The death of a Texas State fraternity pledge after an off-campus social event will likely result in criminal charges based on a preliminary review of evidence, San Marcos Police Chief Chase Stapp told the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV Tuesday.

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“I think it is pretty likely we are going to have some kind of criminal case,” Stapp said. “Once we know the complete picture, we will have to have discussions with the district attorney on the most appropriate course of actions. It’s not going to be overnight by any means.”

The death comes about a week after the national chapter of Phi Kappa Psi ordered the Texas State chapter to cease its social activities because of an on-going investigation, university officials confirmed Tuesday. Texas State had launched an investigation Oct. 4 based on a complaint it had received in late September. The university would not disclose the nature of those allegations.

>> Related: Texas State suspends all fraternity, sorority activities after death of Phi Kappa Psi pledge

Stapp said it likely will take a month to six weeks before a decision is made because officials will want to wait for a full autopsy, which he said will be a critical piece of evidence in the case and would show the blood alcohol level for 20-year-old Matthew McKinley Ellis, who was pledging Texas State’s Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.

San Marcos police say Ellis was dead when friends found him around 11 a.m. Monday. The university said he had attended a fraternity event off campus. The university on Tuesday suspended all Greek activity.

“Any death in our community we take seriously and especially the death of a young person like this who had so much ahead of him,” Stapp said. “In any case like this, if there are appropriate charges that can be proven, the intent is to file them,” Stapp said.

Under Texas law, hazing is a Class A misdemeanor unless it results in a death, in which case the charge can be elevated to a felony.

10 charged after LSU freshman dies with .495 alcohol level

Published: Wednesday, October 11, 2017 @ 1:27 PM

Ga. Teen Dies at LSU Frat House, Possible Hazing Incident

Ten Louisiana State University students were charged Wednesday for their alleged roles in a hazing incident that killed a freshman from Roswell, Georgia, the university said.

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Max Gruver had an alcohol level of .495 -- more than six times the legal limit for drivers -- at the time of his death, the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office said Wednesday. Gruver, 18, died Sept. 14 after a suspected hazing incident at the Phi Delta Theta fraternity house, according to investigators.

On Wednesday, the Coroner’s Office said an autopsy determined Gruver died from acute alcohol intoxication with aspiration. 

Preliminary tests showed a highly elevated alcohol level, and Gruver also had THC -- the chemical found in marijuana -- in his urine. LSU president F. King Alexander suspended all Greek activities after Gruver’s death. The fraternity’s national headquarters also suspended the LSU chapter.

LSU said Wednesday arrest warrants had been issued, charging 10 with hazing. One student, Matthew Alexander Naquin, was also charged with negligent homicide, the university said. Gruver’s family was informed of the investigation findings and charges. 

“Today’s arrests underscore that the ramifications of hazing can be devastating,” Alexander said Wednesday in an emailed statement. “Maxwell Gruver’s family will mourn his loss for the rest of their lives, and several other students are now facing serious consequences -- all due to a series of poor decisions.”

Gruver was a 2017 graduate of Blessed Trinity High School and planned to study journalism at LSU. He loved sports and helped coach younger children, including his sister’s basketball team, according to his family. 

“Max was very lovable. He cared a lot about people,” Eugene Gruver, Max’s grandfather, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the day after his death. “He was bright, he was intelligent. He was so talented. He knew all about sports.”

In this Sept. 14, 2017, photo, Louisiana State University Police investigate the death of Louisiana State University student Maxwell Gruver as a possible fraternity hazing incident, at an on campus fraternity house, Phi Delta Theta in Baton Rouge, La. Gruver, a fraternity pledge, may have been forced to drink to excess during a game or initiation ritual called "Bible Study" on the night before his death last month, according to newly released police reports filed in court Monday, Oct. 2. (Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate via AP, File)(Hilary Scheinuk/AP)