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Published: Thursday, March 08, 2018 @ 12:10 AM
Updated: Thursday, March 08, 2018 @ 12:08 AM
TOLEDO, Ohio — A man who confessed to killing three people with his brother during a murderous rampage in the 1980s and now wants to be released from prison after 20 years must first undergo an evaluation, a judge said Thursday.
That evaluation will help determine whether Nathaniel Cook should be classified as a sex offender and required to notify authorities of his address every 90 days if he is released.
It was the first time Cook had been back in the courthouse since he and his older brother, Anthony Cook, agreed to a plea deal nearly two decades ago and admitted they were behind nine killings, including a string of eight murders in 1980 and '81.
Some of the victims' family members wiped away tears when Cook, shackled and wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, walked into court alongside two deputies.
Cook, 59, glanced for a second at the group sitting in the front row before turning away.
Steve Moulton, whose brother was killed by Anthony Cook in 1981, hesitated when he thought about why he came to the hearing Thursday. "I guess I'm the voice of my brother," he said.
Cook's attorneys contend the plea deal agreed to with prosecutors and the victims' families in 2000 requires the court to order his release this year.
But the families hope Lucas County Judge Linda Jennings will find a way to stop him from getting out. They've written letters asking that he be kept in prison or at least placed under strict controls if he's released.
Another hearing is set for April 19.
As part of the agreement, Cook confessed to three murders while his brother admitted to killing five other people. Anthony Cook already had been convicted in another killing.
Anthony Cook is serving two life sentences, while Nathaniel Cook's sentence called for his release after 20 years.
The victims' families all agreed to the deal because it guaranteed the brothers would be sent to prison and it gave them answers about who killed their loved ones.
Both brothers admitted to detectives that they first killed a man, raped his girlfriend and tried to kill her in 1980.
Nathaniel Cook confessed that he and his brother were involved in two more killings. He said he strangled a woman they had abducted and that the pair then raped a 12-year-old girl and bludgeoned her with a concrete block.
Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 9:06 PM
GOLDEN ISLES, Ga. — A boater discovered a strange sea creature that washed ashore on a southeast Georgia beach.
Jeff Warren said he spotted the deceased animal Friday afternoon with his son at Wolf Island National Wildlife Refuge in Golden Isles, Georgia.
At first, Warren thought the creature was a dead seal, but upon further investigation, he described it as looking more like a "Loch Ness-type thing."
With its elongated neck and small head, the sea animal, in a way, appeared to look like an animal from prehistoric times.
Action News Jax reached out to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more information on what kind of animal it could be.
Director Dan Ashe said some sea animals have a way of decomposing where they can resemble a Plesiosaur.
Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 8:39 PM
CINCINNATI — A 3-year-old girl died Sunday, just days after her babysitter was indicted on charges of felonious assault and felony child endangering.
Hannah Wesche was essentially “brain dead” at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, her father, Jason Wesche, previously said. She was pronounced dead at 12:15 a.m. Sunday he said in an update made later in the morning on a GoFundMe page.
As of 3:40 p.m. Sunday, the page had raised $8,332 of its $15,000 goal.
Lindsay Partin, who is accused of assaulting the 3-year-old child while in her care March 8, was free on bond Thursday after being arraigned on a felony indictment Thursday afternoon.
Partin, 35, of Hanover Township, was indicted by a Butler County grand jury on charges of felonious assault and felony child endangering. Butler County Common Pleas Judge Greg Stephens set her bond at $75,000 at the arraignment.
Published: Monday, March 12, 2018 @ 10:07 PM
Updated: Monday, March 12, 2018 @ 10:07 PM
AUSTIN, Texas — Three package explosions in Austin in the past two weeks appear similar and related, authorities said Monday, and police are warning residents against taking suspicious packages inside their homes.
Published: Sunday, March 18, 2018 @ 7:47 PM
AUSTIN, Texas — UPDATE 2:30 p.m. CDT Sunday: Austin police on Sunday announced a $50,000 increase in the reward offered in exchange for any information leading to the arrest of the bomber behind three recent deadly explosions.
The increase, on top of $15,000 being offered by Gov. Greg Abbott and the $50,000 reward offered by police last week, brings the total reward amount to $115,000.
Police continued pleading for information on the bombings from the community.
Interim Police Chief Brian Manley said that the three bombing incidents within two weeks “were meant to send a message,” although they do not yet know what the bomber’s ideology and motives are.
“We’re hoping to encourage you to come forward with the addition of this tip money that’s now available,” Manley said. “The person or persons understand what that message is, and is responsible for constructing or delivering these devices, and we hope this person or persons is watching and will reach out to us before anyone else is injured or killed out of this even.”
Manley said the cooperation and support from federal partners has been “unprecedented.”
More than 500 agents between the police, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and FBI are involved in the investigation, he said. Agents have followed up on 435 leads that have resulted in 236 interviews.
Manley also described the process of the investigation, which includes 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. briefings every day. A command center, comprised of local and federal agents, has been set up to handle the deluge of tips.
“The process is complex, but it is working for us as we go through all these tips,” he said.
Manley said officers have received 735 calls for suspicious packages as of Sunday.
On March 2, 39-year-old Anthony Stephan House died after a package at his home in Northeast Austin detonated. Then, on March 12, police responded to two more package bombings in East Austin -- one that killed Draylen Mason, 17, and injured his mother, and a second attack at another home that sent a woman in her 70s to the hospital with serious injuries.
Manley said that woman is “still fighting for her life,” but would not give any further details on her condition.
Original story: Austin police and the FBI will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Sunday to announce an increase in the reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person or people responsible for the three package bombs that have killed two people and injured a third in East Austin.