Ex-girlfriend of Facebook killer meets victim’s daughters, tries to ‘pick up the pieces’ of her life

Published: Thursday, April 20, 2017 @ 5:13 PM

The ex-girlfriend the man who recorded and uploaded video in which he shot and killed a 74-year-old man is “trying to pick up the pieces” of her life.

Steve Stephens blamed his former girlfriend, Joy Lane, for the killing.

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“The hashtags Joy Lane, Joy Lane massacre ... I don’t know if I know how to be Joy Lane anymore. I don’t know how to pick up all the pieces of my world at the moment,” Lane told WJW-TV. “I’ve got a lot of negative comments. I’ve been called almost every cuss word in the book. I’ve been told that I’m the one who should have died, he should have killed me.”

Stephens, who dated Lane for several years, mentioned her moments before shooting Robert Godwin Sr. on Sunday, saying, “She’s the reason why all this is about to happen to you.” He also made Godwin say her name before gunning him down.

Since Stephens’ suicide on Tuesday, Lane has received support from many close to her, but also from two strangers: two of Godwin’s daughters, Tonya R. Godwin-Baines and Debbie D. Godwin. Lane met the sisters, and the three women hugged, cried and prayed together, WJW-TV reported.

“I feel bad. The last thing he would have said is my name, and he didn’t know me or why he was saying, and that’s been difficult,” Lane told the women.

The Godwin family, however, doesn’t blame her for the tragic incident.

“It’s not your fault,” Godwin-Baines told Lane. “We don’t hold any ill feelings towards you.”

After Godwin’s murder, Lane was placed in protective care while authorities launched a nationwide hunt for Stephens over the course of several days.

Lane said she tried to call Stephens after he posted the video on Facebook, but he didn’t answer. 

She told WJW-TV she and Stephens had once looked at engagement rings, but they recently “mutually parted ways,” in part because he had a gambling issue. She said the two remained friends. Stephens called Lane the day before the murder to tell her he had quit his job and planned to move out of state.

Stephens took his own life on Tuesday as police attempted to pull him over.

Godwin was the father of 10 children. 

See video of Lane’s meeting with Godwin’s daughters at WJW-TV.

Brianna Chambers contributed to this report.

Major League Baseball umpire stops woman from jumping off bridge before Pirates game

Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 11:48 PM

(WPXI.com)

A Major League Baseball umpire, Jon Tumpane, stopped a woman from jumping off the Roberto Clemente Bridge before Wednesday night's Pittsburgh Pirates game at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

"Just hanging on to her and at times when she wanted to go the other way, I was like, 'not on my watch,'" Tumpane said in a press conference Wednesday night. 

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"I was able to mouth to one of the gentlemen in back, and said, 'Call 911, call 911,' and they did," he said.

Tumpane was walking across the bridge on the way from his hotel to the park, where he was scheduled to work behind the plate. 

He came across a woman in distress, apparently preparing to jump off the bridge.

He said he locked his arms in hers and offered to buy her lunch, desperately trying to coax her back to safety. 

"At that point she said, 'Just let me go, it'll be better off that way.' And I said, 'No, let me buy you lunch, we'll talk this over, it'll all work out,'" Tumpane said.

During the press conference, he said between innings he would look at the Roberto Clemente Bridge over the center field wall.

"This was an unbelievable day and I'm glad to say that she can have another day with us," Tumpane said. "This isn't about me. I appreciate the opportunity but honestly, this is for her and people that care about her. I'm just glad it's a positive story and not a sad story."

Pregnant woman bitten by brown recluse spider while sleeping

Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 11:01 PM

A pregnant woman named Kendall Butler (pictured) has a large area of dead skin from a brown recluse spider bite.

A pregnant woman is still recovering from a brown recluse spider bite that happened over a month ago. 

Kendall Butler was woken by the bite. She killed the spider and took it to the hospital with her immediately.

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Doctors were able to stop the infection and keep her unborn child safe by using antibiotics. However, she does have a large area of skin on her stomach that died because of the spider’s venom.

Doctors said they don’t want to fully treat the wound yet because of the baby. Originally, the plan was to evacuate the wound and then look into skin grafts once the child is born.

Now, Butler’s doctors say the wound needs to be evacuated sooner. They will wait until July 10 when the baby is seven weeks from the due date. Experts believe she’ll be strong enough by then to be born early, just in case anything happens during the procedure.

A Green Country entomologist said that Oklahoma’s mild winter caused more dangerous insects to come out early.

Experts say people should take precautions against insects while outside, but that there isn’t much to be done indoors but have homes sprayed.

The Centers for Disease Control says that even though people fear bug spray with DEET is bad for pregnant women, it’s actually recommended with the same precautions as those who are not pregnant or lactating.

Developer to resume Topgolf planning despite findings of slave cemetery

Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 11:07 PM

(WSOCTV.com)

When developer Matthew Browder bought a large piece of land five years ago, he had no idea what laid beneath.

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He showed WSOC-TV where radar detected a slave cemetery. 

A newly released report proved there are slave graves on a University City property where developers are trying to build a brand new Topgolf venue. The developers hired a local historian to research the site after neighbors raised concerns over the possibility there was a slave cemetery in the area. 

>> RELATED: New Topgolf could border slave cemetery in University City

White flags mark the 19 bodies buried in shallow graves.

Despite the incredible historical significance, Browder said it will not deter plans to build nearly 400 apartments, 40,000 square feet of retail space and a Topgolf. 

“We are going to make sure this is not disturbed and protected regardless,” Browder said.

"(They) plan on moving forward, which is still shocking," said Darrin Rankin, who opposes the development.

A ground penetration crew, using radar equipment, counted 19 bodies buried right outside the cemetery next to Mallard Creek Presbyterian Church.

WSOC-TV reported earlier this month that neighbors claimed there was a slave cemetery on the grounds, and now a historian's 28-page report confirms it.

Charter Properties and Browder Development Group are asking the city to rezone the property.

Developers said that they've spent roughly $20,000 on the cemetery, working with a consultant. They are promising not to disturb the graves and said they plan to work with the church to preserve them.

“There is a right thing to do here, and that's what we're going to do, regardless of what happens,” said Browder. “So whether we get our zoning or don't get our zoning, whether something is approved or not approved, this area is not going to get disturbed, period.”

Neighbors who've been fighting the proposal said they're not satisfied with the report.

“How big is this slave cemetery? How deep into the woods does it go?” Rankin asked.

The historian who reviewed the property said he is confident they have found the boundaries of the slave cemetery.

Browder said the slaves are buried on less than a tenth of an acre, and he plans on leaving them there.

“It’s important to the history of the area, and it’s important that these people be recognized and respected,” Browder said.

Ohio man survives overdose on tracks as train passes over him

Published: Wednesday, June 28, 2017 @ 8:49 PM

(Journal-News)

Emergency crews say a Middletown, Ohio, man who overdosed is lucky to be alive after he fell onto nearby railroad tracks.

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When Jesse O’Neill, 46, allegedly overdosed Friday night, he fell onto the railroad tracks near University Boulevard, fire officials said. O’Neill fell between the tracks, and he wasn’t hit when a Norfolk-Southern train passed over him around 8:30 p.m., officials said.

He was revived after Middletown paramedics gave him five milligrams of Narcan, according to Middletown Division of Police report. He was taken to Atrium Medical Center.

O’Neill told officers and paramedics he snorted heroin after he got into an argument with his live-in girlfriend. He told police he didn’t remember passing out nor the train passing over him.

The conductor told police he saw the man lying between the tracks, and by the time he stopped the train, 26 rail cars had passed over the man.

The train was stopped between 30 and 45 minutes and blocked four city intersections: University and Manchester, Central and University, First and University, and Grand Avenue and University, the report stated.

O’Neill was charged with disorderly conduct, criminal trespass and inducing panic.