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Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 11:10 AM
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A teenager was fatally shot trying to protect his family Tuesday during a botched home invasion, police said.
Ja’Donte Thompson, 17, died after he fought with one of the intruders, who fired several shots, hitting the teen in the chest, according to WZTV.
"He didn't deserve this," grandmother Shirley Whitlow told WZTV. "No he did not. He did not."
Two men, believed to be in their late 20s or early 30s, broke the back door, ran upstairs and shouted, “Where is it at?” mistaking the residence for a drug house, police said.
There were no drugs or guns in the house.
Only a sleeping family.
Thompson was killed when he tried to defend his grandfather, stepfather, mother and sister. Joseph Patton, his stepfather, was pistol-whipped during the altercation, police said.
"When he heard what was going on, he came and protected his mother," Whitlow said. "He died protecting his mother."
The intruders took nothing and fled.
Typically, I fight back emotions, not 2day. My ❤ hurts for 17yo boy shot dead when trying to defend his grandpa, mom & step-dad. Heard mom wailing, stepdad returned w/mop & bucket to clean up crime scene. ❤🙏 for the fam pic.twitter.com/SjdXa6sOUM— HarrietWallaceFox17 (@HarrietVWallace) December 6, 2017
Police are checking a neighbor’s surveillance video for clues. One intruder had his face covered and wore all black. The other did not wear a mask but was wearing a red beanie and red jacket. He reeked of alcohol and appeared inebriated, according to The Tennessean.
One of the gunman involved in the midnight murder of 17 yr old Ja'Donte Thompson inside his Capitol Point home wore a red beanie, red jacket, & appeared to be intoxicated. Have info? Please call 615-742-7463. Reward offered thru Crime Stoppers.— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) December 6, 2017
Thompson attended Hillsboro High School, after transferring there from East Nashville Magnet School. He planned to join the school’s baseball team and DECA chapter. The school was providing grief counselors to support students and staff.
“Though he wasn’t at the school long, he had a positive impact on his classmates, teachers and staff,” Metro Nashville Public Schools said in a statement. “Teachers said he had model behavior and was a good example of an aspiring leader. This is a tragic case of senseless violence that has saddened all of us.”
Thompson’s family said he was a great kid who was always smiling. He watched his sister while his mother worked and recently got a job at Top Golf to earn money to buy Christmas presents for his family and friends, his grandmother said.
"These is tears of joy. Tears of joy because he was a well-respectable child,” Whitlow said. "I'm going to miss him but one of these old days. One of these old days, we're all going to be together and every day is going to be sweet Sunday.”
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 5:20 PM
FEDERAL HEIGHTS, Colo. — In William Mussack’s final text conversation with his son on Dec. 7, the Colorado man relayed a chilling fear: he believed his daughter may have poisoned his food.
“William described the feeling of being drugged and falling asleep in a recliner chair for 15 hours,” an arrest affidavit obtained by KDVR in Denver read. “He recalled taking a bite from a hamburger, and the hamburger was still on the end table with one bite taken out of it when he awoke.”
Mussack, 69, told his son, Brian Mussack, that his daughter, Dayna Michele Jennings, gave him the hamburger. The day after that discussion, William Mussack vanished.
Five weeks later, Mussack’s body was found encased in concrete in the crawl space of his Federal Heights home. Jennings, 44, is charged with first-degree murder with extreme indifference and is being held without bond in the Adams County Jail.
The investigation into Mussack’s disappearance began on Dec. 28, when his brother, Robert Mussack, called the Federal Heights Police Department to request that officers do a welfare check on his brother, whom he had not heard from in several weeks, the affidavit read. It ended in investigators’ grisly discovery on Jan. 10.
Jennings, who was being questioned at the Police Department while a search warrant was executed at her father’s house, admitted to detectives that she poured concrete in the crawl space of the home. Her admissions and cooperation would soon end, however.
“When Dayna was confronted with the information that investigators on scene were breaking up the concrete in the crawl space, she stated that she wished to speak with a lawyer,” the affidavit read. “At this time, the interview was ended.”
Robert Mussack and other family members and friends told detectives that it was not like William Mussack to go days or weeks without speaking to his loved ones. The last time any of them heard from him was Dec. 8, the day after he told his son about the suspicious hamburger.
When an officer went to Mussack’s home to check on him on Dec. 28, Jennings told them her father no longer lived there and that she, too, had not seen him in several weeks.
Nothing at the home seemed amiss, so the officer left.
The following day, an officer once again went to the home after speaking to both Robert and Brian Mussack. Brian Mussack told investigators that, prior to that final Dec. 7 text conversation, he ordinarily heard from his father daily.
The concerned son told police officers he believed his sister knew where their father was, but was not telling anyone, according to the affidavit. Family members and William Mussack’s girlfriend all told investigators that the lack of communication was out of character for him, and that he always kept his cellphone with him.
Jennings claimed her father had forgotten his cellphone at the house before leaving on a mountain trip with his girlfriend. The girlfriend told police officers, however, that she last heard from Mussack on Dec. 8, when he agreed to go to a Christmas party with her the following day.
Despite telling her to RSVP for him, he failed to show up at the party and she was never able to reach him again, the court document read.
When the officer went inside Mussack’s house on the second visit, on Dec. 29, he noticed a bad smell he described as the smell of “sewage and something rotting,” the affidavit said. When Jennings allowed him to look around, the officer noticed that Mussack’s bed, located in the basement, was covered in women’s clothing and looked as though it hadn’t been used in weeks.
The officer paid a third visit to the home on Dec. 30, at which time Jennings refused to allow him inside.
Family members received text messages from Mussack’s phone after police began searching for him, but investigators trying to locate the phone through the missing man’s cell service said the phone “pinged” from the area of his home -- even after his daughter claimed he’d stopped by, picked up the phone and some money and left again.
Brian Mussack also told police officers that his sister sent him text messages claiming that that their father had been abusive toward her and that he couldn’t afford to make his house payment. Family and friends said Mussack was a mild-mannered man who was very frugal and had plenty of money set aside for his retirement.
Despite Jennings’ claims that her father no longer lived there, the house remained in William Mussack’s name, the affidavit said. Three vehicles registered to Mussack were in the driveway.
When a concerned friend texted Jennings on Jan. 5 asking about her father, Jennings responded that her father was in Arizona, “enjoying the sun,” the document said. Mussack’s family said he did not know anyone in Arizona.
Further investigation showed that someone had been using Mussack’s bank account after he disappeared. Several items were purchased for Jennings from Amazon and a $500 check written to her was cashed on Dec. 29.
A Wells Fargo branch manager told police that the signature on the check did not match Mussack’s signature, which the bank had on file.
Jennings’ first husband, Joel Jennings, told police that his ex-wife “adored” her father, but that he believed she might have killed Mussack because it was not like his former father-in-law to disappear and not contact his family, the affidavit read. He described Dayna Jennings as “impulsive and irrational at times” and said her relationships with family members and friends were “intense and unstable.”
Joel Jennings also said that, during a visit to the house on Dec. 31, he saw flooring and carpet that his ex-wife had apparently pulled up and disposed of. Investigators learned that she ordered multiple dumpsters that were delivered to the home and parked out front for several days in December.
Jennings told investigators that his ex-wife’s massage business, her sole source of income, folded in November. On her business website, The Good Massage, Dayna Jennings wrote on Dec. 1 that she was taking personal leave for a few months “to tend to family and personal needs.”
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 9:22 AM
MARION COUNTY, Fla. — A driver sank a Cadillac Escalade Tuesday while backing up his boat into Lake Weir, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said.
The man, whose identity wasn't released, was reversing his SUV on a boat ramp at the Carney Island Recreation and Conservation Area when he was unable to put the vehicle back in park, deputies said.
The vehicle followed the boat into the lake, well past a pair of signs that bear an arrow and the words "caution end of ramp."
The driver escaped the vehicle and was uninjured.
Divers with the Sheriff's Office helped a tow truck driver retrieve the SUV from the water.
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 2:49 PM
LEXINGTON, Ky. — A plastic surgeon showed up for surgery Monday while intoxicated and was arrested, according to police.
Dr. Theodore Gerstle was confronted by the chief medical officer at Baptist Health Lexington and then left the hospital on foot, according to WKYT.
Police were then called and took Gerstle into custody. Gerstle was charged with public intoxication.
“Patient safety is always our number one concern,” Ruth Ann Childers, hopsital spokeswoman, told WKYT. “This will be thoroughly investigated.”
Published: Wednesday, January 17, 2018 @ 1:00 PM
WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos gave a far-ranging speech today in Washington at an American Enterprise Institute conference, “Bush-Obama School Reform: Lessons Learned.”
She announced the death of Common Core, at least in her federal agency.
DeVos also decried the federal government’s initiatives to improve education. “We saw two presidents from different political parties and philosophies take two different approaches. Federally mandated assessments. Federal money. Federal standards. All originated in Washington, and none solved the problem. Too many of America’s students are still unprepared,” she said.
And she touched on a favorite topic, school choice.
“Choice in education is not when a student picks a different classroom in this building or that building, uses this voucher or that tax-credit scholarship. Choice in education is bigger than that. Those are just mechanisms,” she said. “It’s about freedom to learn. Freedom to learn differently. Freedom to explore. Freedom to fail, to learn from falling and to get back up and try again. It’s freedom to find the best way to learn and grow… to find the exciting and engaging combination that unlocks individual potential.”