Daughter of man on trial in Hamilton firefighter death testifies

Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 1:27 PM
Updated: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 2:06 PM

Day 2 of testimony in Hamilton Arson Trial

The daughter of a man on trial for arson and the murder of a Hamilton firefighter testified today that she noticed things missing from her parent’s home before they left on a trip to Las Vegas.

Lester Parker, 67, and his nephew, William “Billy” Tucker, 46, are both charged with arson and murder in the fire at Parker’s Pater Avenue home that killed firefighter Patrick Wolterman on Dec. 28, 2015.

MORE: Daughter told police family may have been part of fatal Hamilton arson

Prosecutors say Parker was “under water” financially in the winter of 2015 and hatched a plan to burn the house and collect insurance money. His nephew, they said, agreed to light the fire for payment in pills.

Cheryl Sullivan, Parker’s daughter, testified Wednesday during the third day of the trial.

Sullivan drove her parents to the airport on Dec. 27, 2015, for the couple’s trip to Las Vegas.

She testified that she noticed things missing from the house that had been there on Christmas Eve.

“Some things were moved around, some things not where they were supposed to be,” Sullivan said, adding that angel figurines had replaced family photos in the living room and a “butler” statue was gone.

Prosecutor: Hamilton man planned to burn home for insurance money

Prosecutors say Parker packed up items he held dear, including pictures of his two daughters, and removed them from the house before the fire.

Sullivan testified that her father handed her four envelopes with bills in them, including the mortgage and insurance, and told her to “hold them.”

Before boarding the plane, Sullivan said her father called her and told her: “The important papers are in the garage if something happens.”

After the fire, Sullivan said she called her father in Las Vegas. He said he couldn’t comeback right away because it would be too expensive, she testified.

Weeks later, when her parents moved to another home in Hamilton, Sullivan said she found a bag that her parents had taken to Las Vegas and in it were several framed family photos, including those that she and her sister had noticed missing from the Pater Avenue home’s living room.

MORE: Owners of home where Hamilton firefighter died refused to discuss insurance claim

“He (Parker) said they had been out in the garage and the detectives said he could get them when he was over there with them,” Sullivan said.

During cross examination by the defense, Sullivan said it was not unusual for her mother to move things around because she liked to clean.

Parker’s attorney David Washington asked her if she was aware the angel figurines that had replaced the photos were Christmas gifts from Parker to his wife. Cheryl said she was not aware.

The Parkers’ older daughter is expected to testify this afternoon.

‘Transparent’ actress Trace Lysette accuses Jeffrey Tambor of sexual harassment

Published: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 3:42 PM

Jeffrey Tambor’s “Transparent” co-star has accused the actor of sexual harassment.

Trace Lysette, who plays transgender yoga instructor Shea on the Amazon show, claims that Tambor “got physical” with her on the set of the show.

“One day on set during Season 2, Jeffrey, Alexandra Billings and I were all outfitted in pajamas. I was in a flimsy top and matching short shorts. Upon seeing my in my costume, Jeffrey sexualized me with an over the top comment. Alexandra and I laughed it off because it was so absurd and we thought surely it had to be a bad joke. I shook it off. Then later, in between takes, I stood in a corner on the set as the crew reset for a wide shot. My back was against the wall in a corner as Jeffrey approached me. He came in close, put his bare feet on top of mine so I could not move, leaned his body against me, and began quick, discreet thrusts back and forth against my body. I felt his penis on my hip through his thin pajamas and I pushed him off of me. Again, I laughed it off and rolled my eyes. I had a job to do and I had to do it with Jeffrey, the lead of our show. When they called action, I put that moment in the corner into its own corner of my mind,” Lysette tweeted.

» Ryan Seacrest didn’t know Jeffrey Tambor; thought he was a dead actor

“Compartmentalizing has always been part of my survival tool kit, long before I came to Hollywood. It’s s — tty to admit out loud — and I don’t say it to justify what I went through — but given the journey and circumstances of my life, I was used to being treated as a sexual object by men — this one just happened to be famous.”

She also urged show creator Jill Soloway and Amazon Studios to “remove the problem and let the show go on.”

More than a dozen women have accused porn star Ron Jeremy of sexual assault spanning more than 30 years.

“Transparent” writers have reportedly been prepping Season 5 without Tambor following the initial sexual harassment accusations, but no action has been taken yet.

Tambor denied being a “predator,” but apologized for his actions.

» 'Transparent' star calls for more opportunities for transgender actors

“For the past four years, I’ve had the huge privilege — and huge responsibility — of playing Maura Pfefferman, a transgender woman, in a show that I know has had an enormous, positive impact on a community that has been too long dismissed and misunderstood. Now I find myself accused of behavior that any civilized person would condemn unreservedly. I know I haven’t always been the easiest person to work with. I can be volatile and ill-tempered, and too often I express my opinions harshly and without tact,” he said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter.

“But I have never been a predator — ever. I am deeply sorry if any action of mine was ever misinterpreted by anyone as being sexually aggressive or if I ever offended or hurt anyone. But the fact is, for all my flaws, I am not a predator and the idea that someone might see me in that way is more distressing than I can express.”

Lysette’s accusations come shortly after Van Barnes, Tambor’s former assistant, accused him of “inappropriate behavior.”

Tambor also denied those claims.

Amazon Studios did not immediately return a request for comment.

Lena Dunham slammed for defending 'Girls' producer accused of rape

Published: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 7:29 AM

Lena Dunham (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
Lena Dunham (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)(Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Social media users are slamming actress and “Girls” creator Lena Dunham after she defended one of the show’s producers, Murray Miller, following allegations that he raped a teen actress, Page Six reports.

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“Life comes at you fast @lenadunham,” S.E. Cupp tweeted with a screenshot of one of Dunham's previous tweets, which reads, “Things women lie about: what they ate for lunch. Things women don’t lie about: rape,” side by side with her defense of Miller.

After actress Aurora Perrineau accused Miller of raping her when she was 17, Dunham and co-showrunner Jenni Konner responded in a joint statement, saying, “While our first instinct is to listen to every woman’s story, our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3% of assault cases that are misreported every year. It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood women still struggle to be believed. We stand by Murray and this is all we’ll be saying about this issue.”

>> Read more trending news

Dunham continued her thoughts on Twitter, later writing, “I believe in a lot of things but the first tenet of my politics is to hold up the people who have held me up, who have filled my world with love.”

However, that was also met with the ire and mocking from users:

In her statement, Perinea, now 23, claimed she woke up in Miller’s bed after consuming alcohol with him at a hotel, and he was “having sexual intercourse with me.” On Friday, she filed a police report in regard to the incident. Miller has since “categorically and vehemently” denied the allegation.

LaToya Cantrell elected first female mayor of New Orleans

Published: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 12:43 PM

LaToya Cantrell was elected mayor of New Orleans on Saturday night.
Riccardo S. Savi/WireImage
LaToya Cantrell was elected mayor of New Orleans on Saturday night.(Riccardo S. Savi/WireImage)

LaToya Cantrell made history Saturday night as she was elected New Orleans’ first female mayor, the Times-Picayune reported.

>> Read more trending news

Cantrell defeated fellow Democrat and former Judge Desiree Charbonnet to become the 51st mayor in a city that will celebrate the 300th anniversary of its founding 2018.

Cantrell, a city councilwoman, got 60 percent of the votes over Charbonnet, according to the Louisiana Secretary of State’s office.  She won by a margin of 51,342 to 33,729 to take the city's top elected spot after a month-long runoff, WWL reported.

"Almost 300 years, my friends, and New Orleans, we're still making history," Cantrell told supporters at the New Orleans Jazz Market. 

Cantrell also told the crowd she had spoken to Charbonnet over the phone and congratulated her on making history. “Our history was two women making that runoff, and we both deserve to be proud of that,” Cantrell said.

"I truly do not regret one moment of anything about this campaign -- resigning from my position, working every day and talking to people, touching our community and knowing exactly what the needs are. I am so proud to have been in that race," Charbonnet said. "Listen, y'all. If she does well, we all do well."

Cantrell will take over in May, when Mayor Mitch Landrieu steps down after eight years in office, the Times-Picayune reported.

Plane crash investigation underway at Grimes Field in Urbana

Published: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 4:53 PM

The roof of a police patrol car at night, with the blue and red lights flashing.
kali9/Getty Images/iStockphoto
The roof of a police patrol car at night, with the blue and red lights flashing.(kali9/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

State troopers are investigating a plane crash that occurred at Grimes Field Airport in Urbana Sunday afternoon. 

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Investigators were dispatched to the airport around 3:30 p.m. Sunday after the incident was reported. 

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Dispatchers said the incident was ‘minor’ and no injuries were reported. 

Additional details, including possible factors were not immediately available. 

We’re monitoring this developing story and we’ll update this page as details become available.