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Navy hospital employee accused of mishandling newborn babies: 'Sorry for offending'

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 @ 7:43 AM

Naval Hospital Issues Apology For Staff's "Inappropriate" Photos Of Newborns

Employees at Florida's Naval Hospital Jacksonville who reportedly posted a viral video of newborn babies “dancing” will likely face criminal charges.

>> Watch the news report here

The newborns were referred as “mini Satans” by the employees. 

When the employees posted the pictures of the baby’s face, that alone is a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. 

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: Navy hospital apologizes for staff's 'inappropriate' photos of newborns

Action News Jax Law and Safety Expert Dale Carson says the employees could be charged with more than a HIPPA violation. Carson said he believes this is a case of child abuse.

In the video, rap music from 50 Cent can be heard in the background as a staff member from Naval Hospital Jacksonville is seen making a newborn baby dance to the music. 

>> Watch the clip here

Staff caught on camera mishandling baby

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: The hospital calls the images outrageous, unacceptable and incredibly unprofessional. Read more: http://bit.ly/2ybawda

Posted by Action News Jax on Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The woman who sent Action News Jax the Snapchat video also sent text messages detailing a conversation between her and the U.S. Navy employee.

The employee said: "We were being stupid and bored. Sorry for offending.”

But some parents were angry over the video. 

>> Read more Floridoh! stories

“That baby could have been seriously injured … all because she wanted to be popular on social media,” parent Regina Wortmann said. 

A photo was also posted showing a staff member making an obscene hand gesture and saying that was how she felt about the “mini Satans.” 

"She'll receive demerits and be punished in some way," Carson said.

Naval Hospital Jacksonville posted an apology via Facebook, calling the posts “outrageous.” 

>> Navy hospital apologizes for staff's 'inappropriate' photos of newborns

“We have identified the staff members involved,” the hospital said. “They have removed from patient care and they will be handled by the legal system and military justice.” 

Carson says the incident could be very costly. 

>> Read more trending news

“It’s clearly a HIPPA violation and probably the U.S. Navy and their medical system at NAS Jax can be sued over this,” Carson said. 

Action News Jax contacted the hospital for more information. Officials sent the station an email saying the public information officer is “attempting to respond to all requests in a timely matter.” 

>> Watch another news report here

Jacksonville-area hospital staff were reportedly caught on video mishandling newborn baby and writing that they were "mini-Satans."

Posted by Action News Jax on Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Documents reveal violent, disturbing last moments of homicide victim

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 3:00 PM

Jennifer Ayers. (Photo: KIRO7.com)
Jennifer Ayers. (Photo: KIRO7.com)

The following story contains some graphic details.

Seattle police found 63-year-old Jennifer Ayers dead in her Lake City home Monday.

The suspect in her death, Michael Giordano, 23, was wheeled into court to face a judge Wednesday afternoon. 

>> Read more trending news

Prosecutors charged the suspect with aggravated first-degree murder, and say the crime also included robbery, burglary, arson and rape.

“The facts here are extremely violent and disturbing,” the prosecutor told the judge. 

Prosecuting documents detailed what happened in the horrific final moments of Ayers’ life. 

The documents say someone by the initials of R.H. on 36th Avenue Northeast in Lake City called 911 after seeing Giordano in the street with blood on his hands, and seeing him throw credit cards into the street and bushes. 

The documents say when officers went inside they found the house had been ransacked and was filled with smoke. They also saw "a significant amount of blood," the documents reveal. 

Officers found Ayers lying on the floor, partly on fire, with her hands tied behind her back with what appeared to be Xbox controller cords.

“The officers immediately dragged the woman out of the house and into the backyard. Once clear of the smoke, officers were able to see the woman’s hands were bound behind her back, she was only partially clothed, a large knife handle was sticking out of her right buttock, and her inner thighs and crotch had been severely burned away. She was clearly deceased,” the documents read.

Documents say the victim's throat was slashed. 

“In addition to suffering a multitude of stab wounds throughout her body, the victim had extremely large lacerations on her neck. There was writing on the walls inside the home and it appeared to be written in blood. In the immediate area of the fire where the victim’s body was found burning, detectives found a red plastic gasoline can,” the documents read. 

In court, the prosecutor said Giordano was a stranger to Ayers. 

KIRO7 talked with a friend of Ayers' before learning the details of the crimes. Thom Head says he and Ayers were “two peas in a pod” and walked their dogs together every day for 20 years. 

“I was absolutely stunned that it was Jen. And it was tough. Because I thought about all of her neighbors and her poor little dog and her son,” Head said, his voice breaking. 

He and her neighbors describe Ayers as someone always helping others. 

“She would bend over backwards for her neighbors,” Head said. “She was so smart, on top of it, very well-informed, knew everything that was going on.” 

He said he can’t help thinking about her final moments. 

“Jen was a very small person, she was 4 feet 11 inches tall in her high heels so she probably had a tough time trying to defend herself,” Head said. 

The prosecuting documents say Giordano at first told investigators he had been mugged and had killed a man in self-defense. The documents say, “However, Giordano eventually admitted that those were lies he created to distract police from his real crime.” 

“Giordano admitted to detectives that he picked the victim at random, based primarily on the cars parked outside her residence. He admitted that he snuck in through an unlocked door, tied the victim up with cords, stabbed her multiple times in an attempt to induce her to tell him where her valuables were located, forcibly raped her and eventually killed her. 

“He also explained that he used gasoline and intentionally set the victim’s crotch on fire to destroy evidence of the rape,” the documents said. 

“Additionally, Giordano admitted that the writings on the victim’s wall with blood was done by him with the specific intention of misleading police into believing that the killer was someone with satanic beliefs,” the documents continued.

In court Wednesday, Giordano looked into the KIRO7 cameras and mouthed “(Expletive) you,” and later smiled and mouthed “bye” to the camera as he was wheeled out of court. 

A judge set his bail at $10 million. 

GRAPHIC WARNING: The documents embedded in the tweet below contain graphic details.

Police: Man crashed car in icy river, left girlfriend to drown

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 10:20 AM

Man Arrested After Allegedly Leaving Girlfriend To Die In Icy River

A New Jersey man has been charged in connection with his girlfriend’s death after police say he left her to drown following a crash in the Delaware River.

Jacob T. Garrett, 24, of Burlington City, is charged with leaving the scene of a fatal accident, causing a death while driving with a suspended license and endangering an injured victim, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office. He is being held in the Burlington County Jail. 

Stephanie White, 23, of Burlington City, was killed in the crash.

Burlington City police investigators said that Garrett was speeding around 1 p.m. Sunday when his vehicle struck a parked minivan and went over a river wall into the water. The front end of the car broke through the ice on the surface and the vehicle became submerged.

Bystanders told detectives that they found Garrett standing on the roof of the car, yelling, “Help my girlfriend.” Then he fled the scene on foot.

“He left his girlfriend in the water to die,” Burlington City police Capt. John Fine told NBC New York

>> Read more trending news

Videos from the scene, including one obtained by NJ.com, show firefighters working to extract White from the car, a Ford Taurus. They had to go in through the rear window of the Taurus, which jutted from the icy surface of the river. 

One video, which can be found here, shows the entire rescue, including the moment when rescuers pulled White’s body from the car. 

First responders found White in the passenger seat, her seat belt still on, prosecutors said in a news release. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. 

A police K-9 officer tracked Garrett from the river to a nearby light rail platform, officials said. Investigators had the train he was on stopped at the next station, where he was taken into custody.

Garrett was soaking wet when he was found, NBC New York reported

White’s friends and family mourned her on social media. Her mother, Ina White, posted a video tribute someone made in her daughter’s memory. 

“Love and miss my daughter. My heart is broken,” White wrote. “Thank you for this tribute. I'll hold it dear to my heart always.”

“I love you, sis, Steph Birdy White. Words can't even explain,” another woman wrote. “You meant everything to me . You had a big heart inside and out. I miss you and you will never be forgotten.” 

GoFundMe page established by White’s aunt to help pay for her funeral expenses described the young woman as “loving, kind, soft spoken, (a) hard worker and loved by all that knew her.”

“She had so much innocence in her presence, and always smiled when she greet(ed) you,” Rosie White wrote about her niece. “Her mother can not financially afford funeral expenses for this, and any amount will help with burial costs.”

Stephanie White’s wishes were to be buried next to her grandmother in Maplewood Cemetery in Freehold, where she grew up.

The case against Garrett remains under investigation, and additional charges may be filed, prosecutors said. 

NJ.com reported that Garrett has two previous criminal convictions, including a 2016 conviction of criminal sexual contact. He also served 93 days in jail, and received two years’ probation, the year before for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer. 

Details of those crimes were not immediately available. 

Police use Facebook to help man get off work during icy weather

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 12:51 PM

Safety Tips for Driving on Icy Roads

Police in Texas used social media to offer a helping hand to a man who was trying to get off work as roads across the region began to ice over earlier this week.

>> Read more trending news

Police posted a warning on their Facebook page at 6:37 a.m. Tuesday telling citizens that all city offices would be closed. They urged area residents to stay inside and do their best to keep warm.

All City of Seguin offices will be closed today. Yep, the roads are really icy and will only keep getting worse today....

Posted by Seguin Police Department on Tuesday, January 16, 2018

One man needed more help and turned to the Seguin Police Department. Justin Garcia, who is listed on Facebook as a resident of San Marcos, asked police for a note for work.

>> Photos: Snow blankets the South

Deputy Chief Bruce Ure delivered:

“Dear Justin’s Boss,” Ure wrote, “The roads are bad and are going to get worse. Much worse. Please let him stay home, warm and safe and enjoy some Hulu or some cool shows on Netflix. And, he needs a raise. He rocks. Respectfully ~ Deputy Chief Ure.”

Garcia left a comment on the police Facebook page the next day, saying he had gotten the day off. 

Government shutdown: What would close; would you get your Social Security check; what would happen to SNAP, WIC

Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 12:35 PM

What You Need to Know: Government Shutdown

The fight over a border wall, the fate of nearly 800,000 DACA recipients, and the wrangling over the funding of an insurance program for children could force a U.S. government shutdown after midnight on Friday if Congress does not pass legislation that would keep the government up and running.

While negotiations on a temporary spending bill, called a continuing resolution, are ongoing, House Republican leaders said late Wednesday that  they lacked the votes to prevent a shutdown, but that they are pressing members to back Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, (R-Wisconsin), on the  temporary spending bill.

“I think it passes,” Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker, (R-North Carolina), told reporters on Wednesday. I"I don’t think it’s overwhelming, but I think it passes.”

>>Read more trending news

What would happen if no bill is passed and the government “shuts down?” Here’s what to expect:

First, a government shutdown doesn’t mean the government completely shuts down. Employees and services deemed “essential” would remain in place. About half of the federal employee workforce, however, could be furloughed – sent home without pay.

Government agencies would shut down because of the lack of a bill that funds services those agencies provide. What Congress will be considering Thursday night and Friday is a continuing resolution, a way to temporarily fund the government.

What is a continuing resolution?
A continuing resolution, or “CR,” is legislation that funds government operations at the current spending level. In normal years, a bill that funds government operations is signed by Oct. 1, which is the end of the fiscal year. That didn’t happen this year.

CRs can fund the government for days, weeks or months. The CR that could be considered Thursday would fund the government through Feb. 16.

Here is a list of services and how they would be affected if a CR is not passed by Friday night:
Air travel
Air travel would not be affected as federal air traffic controllers would remain on the job and Transportation Security Administration screeners would remain in place.
Federal court
For about two weeks, federal courts would continue operating normally. After that time, the judiciary would have to furlough employees not considered essential.
Food safety
The Food and Drug Administration would handle high-risk recalls. Most routine safety inspections would be halted.
Health
Patients in the National Institutes of Health would continue to be treated. New patients would not be accepted until a funding bill is in place.
International travel 
You could still get a passport and visa applications would still be processed by the State Department. Fees collected when someone applies for a visa or a passport fund those services.
Loans 
The Federal Housing Administration, the agency that guarantees about 30 percent of all American home mortgages, wouldn't be able to underwrite or approve any new loans during a shutdown, causing a delay for those using one of those loans to purchase a home. 
The mail
You would still get mail, as the U.S. Postal Service is not funded by taxpayer dollars for everyday operations.
Military
Active-duty military personnel would stay on duty, but their paychecks would be delayed.
National parks
All national parks would be closed, as would the Smithsonian museums. Visitors in overnight campgrounds in national parks would be given 48 hours to make alternate arrangements and leave the park.
School lunches, SNAP and WIC
School breakfasts and lunches funded by the federal government would not be affected. The Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, or WIC, could be affected. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, which used to be called the Food Stamp Program, would continue to be funded and SNAP benefits would continue to be distributed. But several smaller feeding programs would not have the money to operate.
Science
The National Weather Service would keep forecasting weather.
Social Security
Social Security, Medicare and unemployment benefits would be paid, but new applications for those payments could be delayed. 
Veterans services
Most services offered through the Department of Veterans Affairs would continue.
Sources: The Associated Press; Politicothe Congressional Research Service