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Self-described militant atheist violently attacks pastor following sermon

Published: Monday, October 21, 2013 @ 2:47 PM
Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 @ 10:25 AM

A pastor who was beaten talked to News Center 7 about his attack and the suspect accused.

A self-described militant atheist with a criminal past faces multiple charges after an attack on a pastor who, after his sermon, had asked the man's girlfriend if she felt safe.

James Maxie, 28, of Springfield, Ohio, is charged with second-degree felonious assault and misdemeanor resisting arrest after an incident Sunday at The Bridge Community Church in North Hampton.

Police Chief Jarrod Campbell said in his 11 years with the department, he's rarely dealt with "an incident this brutal."

The Rev. Norman Hayes, 57, said he feared for his life and begged for the attack to stop. Hayes suffered a broken nose, bruises and three long cuts that required stitches across his face.

"I questioned his girlfriend in his presence if she felt safe," Hayes said. "He was very, very upset that I'd even suggest that he would hurt her. Then he turned around and hurt me very badly."

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Hayes said Maxie was argumentative and confrontational during the service.

"It looked like he was looking for an argument," Hayes said.

Maxie and the girlfriend, who attends the church, approached Hayes after the service. She told police that Hayes asked her if Maxie was abusing her, and Maxie became furious, striking pastor several times in the face in the church hallway.

"He came from nowhere and hit me ... and knocked me down, and then he got on top of me and just kept hitting me over and over," Hayes said. He pleaded for the beating to stop, stating he thought Maxie would kill him.

"It was fortunate he did stop," Hayes said. "I really believe my life was in danger if he hadn't stopped hitting me in the face over and over."

Maxie and his girlfriend left the church on foot, and Maxie ran into a cornfield after he was spotted by two North Hampton officers who were responding to the scene. The Clark County Sheriff's Office assisted in the search for Maxie, and a deputy located him hiding behind a home. He was booked into the Clark County Jail.

It's not believed Maxie used any sort of object or weapon in the attack, just his fists, Campbell said. Injuries on Maxie's right hand were consistent with repeated punching. The brutality of the beating in addition to the location are why police charged Maxie with a felony, Campbell said.

"Churches are somewhere where people go to worship their particular religion, and violence is usually the last thing you see," he said.

Campbell is working with the Clark County Prosecutor's Office to see if additional charges should be filed.

Maxie served two years in prison after being convicted of felonious assault. He's also a convicted sex offender, charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor in Clark County, and was sentenced to five years of probation, beginning in October 2008, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. In 2004, Maxie was charged with four counts of cruelty to animals in Springfield.

A self-described militant atheist, according to his Facebook page, a day before the assault Maxie shared a photo from another page titled, "I'm proud to be Atheist." Hayes said Maxie made comments about Hitler and religion prior to the church service.

In a statement Maxie wrote to police, he said he was "trying to regain my faith in God," and went to hear Hayes' sermon. He said he "asked questions about science and faith," and claimed the statements offended Hayes. Maxie said Hayes said his girlfriend was "going to hell for dating me."

"That's when I made the worst mistake ever," Maxie wrote.

The assault left Hayes with 3-inch to 6-inch cuts over his left and right eyes, and his right eye was bruised and swollen shut, the report said. He had an inch-long cut behind his left ear, and his nose was bruised, bloody and swollen. Hayes said he broke his nose in two places. At Maxie's arraignment Monday, Hayes' right eye was still swollen shut. Hayes said he will need to revisit doctors to check for brain bleeding.

Hayes believes "the best thing" for Maxie is to be in a place where "he is not going to hurt anyone else."

"We believe there is hope for everyone," Hayes said, "but we also believe that regardless of that, people need to pay for what they have done, and I hope he has to pay for what he has done. Get put away for a while and not hurt anyone else. In my opinion, the next person won't be as lucky as I was.

Hayes requested a protection order against Maxie, which was granted by Judge Denise Moody. Maxie is being detained in jail in lieu of a $51,000 bond.

"I think he probably was sorry for the situation he was in. I think it is very easy to be sorry in that environment in front of a judge. Hopefully, he will be able to find forgiveness and new hope and some answers for his life."

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Armed Stoneman Douglas resource officer 'never went in' during Florida shooting

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 5:35 PM

Armed Stoneman Douglas Resource Officer Resigns

The school resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has resigned, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

[View the story "Stoneman Douglas resource officer resigns after investigation" on Storify]

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Kentucky bill would terminate parental rights of babies born to drug-addicted mothers

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 3:39 PM



Pixabay
(Pixabay)

The opioid epidemic in the U.S. has claimed millions of victims and has spread into even remote corners of American society. 

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While critics have accused states and the federal government of being slow to act in addressing the crisis, there has been a recent spotlight on the pharmaceutical companies’ role in the epidemic, and Kentucky, in particular, is taking steps to try to protect babies born to drug-addicted mothers.

A new bill in the state’s Legislature would terminate the parental rights of mothers of babies born addicted to drugs, classifying the newborns as “addicted and abused at birth,” according to The Associated Press. The new mothers would lose their babies unless they are enrolled in drug treatment programs. The state would be required to begin the process of terminating parental rights within 60 days of the birth of a drug-addicted baby.

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The Republican Kentucky House Majority Caucus Chairman David Meade introduced House Bill 1 to address extensive problems in the state’s adoption and foster care system, the website KYForward.com reported, but he also included an effort to try to address the opioid crisis, which has hit the Bluegrass state hard.

“Many issues have led to the epidemic of children lingering in the state system, including an oversized bureaucracy, the opioid epidemic, and a lack of attention in the past to these issues. House Bill 1 is the first step in putting Kentucky on a different track for adoption and foster care, and truly putting children and families first,” Meade said, according to KYForward.com.

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The legislation, which was unanimously approved Thursday and is now headed to the House floor for debate, has bipartisan support among lawmakers. 

Gaylord Lopez, a doctor of pharmacy and director of the Georgia Poison Center, shares a few facts about the opioid epidemic in Georgia and around the nation. An investigation by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that opioid-related overdoses in the state of Georgia claimed the lives of 982 people last year. The AJC also found that doctors aren't being held accountable when they behave more like dealers than healers. Video by Ryon Horne, Carrie Teegardin and Curtis Compton

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Michael B. Jordan responds to criticism about him living with his parents

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 11:12 AM

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13:  Actor Michael B. Jordan attends the screening of Marvel Studios'
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 13: Actor Michael B. Jordan attends the screening of Marvel Studios' "Black Panther" hosted by The Cinema Society on February 13, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)(Roy Rochlin/Getty Images)

Michael B. Jordan had a quick response for one person on Twitter who criticized his living arrangement.

On a Feb. 6 appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Jordan said he still lives with his parents.

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“I love my parents, but we have a roommate relationship right now, which is interesting,” Jordan, 31, said. “You get home-cooked meals, but then you also have random trips to the kitchen in the middle of the night. Just the random run-ins that just might be a little uncomfortable from time to time.”

For Jordan, that included his mother seeing him “sometimes shirtless, maybe a little naked.”

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Mashable reported that the “Black Panther” star replied to a Twitter user who took issue with him living with his parents and his interest in anime, the latter of which has been documented by Nerdist.

“Michael B. Jordan is a 5’9” adult man that loves anime and lives with his parents,” the Twitter user named Chris wrote. “Y’all told me all of those things were unacceptable though.”

“First of all, I’m 6 feet and they live with ME, put some respeck on my name,” Jordan replied.

Jordan also name-dropped some popular anime characters: Goku, from “Dragonball Z,” and Natuto, of the anime series of the same name.

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Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates pleads guilty in Mueller investigation

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 2:39 PM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 2:53 PM

What You Need To Know: Rick Gates

Rick Gates, a former aide in President Donald Trump's campaign, pleaded guilty to making false statements and conspiring against the United States on Friday, making him the fifth person to enter a guilty plea in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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