Tennessee church suspect may have sought Charleston revenge

Published: Friday, September 29, 2017 @ 12:41 PM
Updated: Friday, September 29, 2017 @ 12:40 PM


            This undated photo provided by Metro Nashville Police Department shows Emanuel Kidega Samson. A gunman entered a church in Tennessee on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, and opened deadly fire an official said. Authorities identified the attacker as Samson, 25, of Murfreesboro, who came to the United States from Sudan in 1996 and was a legal U.S. resident. (Metro Nashville Police Department via AP)
This undated photo provided by Metro Nashville Police Department shows Emanuel Kidega Samson. A gunman entered a church in Tennessee on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017, and opened deadly fire an official said. Authorities identified the attacker as Samson, 25, of Murfreesboro, who came to the United States from Sudan in 1996 and was a legal U.S. resident. (Metro Nashville Police Department via AP)

A note found in the car of a man charged with spraying deadly gunfire at a Tennessee church made reference to revenge for a white supremacist's massacre at a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, two years earlier, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press.

The note could offer a glimpse into Emanuel Kidega Samson's mindset at the time of Sunday's shooting and a possible motive for the rampage, which left a woman dead and six other people wounded. The Associated Press has not viewed the note, but it was summarized in an investigative report circulating among law enforcement. Two officials read parts of the note to the AP.

The report said that "in sum and in no way verbatim," the note referenced revenge or retaliation for Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine black worshippers at the South Carolina church in 2015 and has since been sentenced to death. It wasn't clear what precisely Samson is alleged to have written about the Roof shooting, or whether his note contained other important details that might also speak to a motivation or state of mind.

The law enforcement officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to publicly discuss an ongoing investigation. Metro Nashville Police declined to comment, saying it had not released the information.

Samson has been charged with murder, and the FBI and U.S. attorney's office in Nashville quickly opened a civil rights investigation into the shooting. His public defender did not immediately return calls for comment. And spokespeople for the FBI, the U.S. attorney's office and District Attorney General Glenn Funk declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.

Police have said Samson, masked and wearing a tactical vest, fatally shot a woman who was walking to her vehicle and then entered the rear of Burnette Chapel Church of Christ and shot six other people, walking silently down the aisles with a .40-caliber handgun. The case immediately called to mind the killings at Emanuel AME Church, in Charleston, South Carolina. But unlike that church, which is mostly black, Burnette Chapel in the Nashville neighborhood of Antioch has a diverse congregation with people of various ethnicities, a detail noted in the report. And church members told investigators that Samson had attended services a year or two ago.

All of the victims in Nashville were white, but it is not clear whether Samson specifically targeted them based on their race.

Samson, who is black, came to the United States from Sudan as a child in 1996 and is a U.S. citizen. His past was recently troubled.

Police records say he had expressed suicidal thoughts in June, struggled to hold a job and had a volatile relationship with a woman that twice involved police this year. Officers in Murfreesboro, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southeast of the church, responded to a call from Samson's father, who had reported that his son had texted him June 27 to say: "Your phone is off, I have a gun to my head, have a nice f------ life."

Hours before the shooting, he made bizarre Facebook posts, including one that read: "Everything you've ever doubted or made to be believe as false, is real. & vice versa, B."

Metro Nashville Police say investigators recovered four guns after the shooting that were bought legally from in-state retailers: the 40-caliber handgun allegedly used in the shooting; a military-style AR-15 rifle found in a case in Samson's vehicle; and a 9 mm handgun recovered from the church. Police say a relative gave the guns to Samson for safe keeping.

Police say Samson bought a .22-caliber pistol found in his SUV.

Stray dog crashes wedding, gets new home

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 9:59 AM



Photo courtesy: Felipe Paludetto Photography
(Photo courtesy: Felipe Paludetto Photography)

A man and his fiancée planned on becoming a family of two, but after their wedding last month they became a family of three after a four-legged wedding crasher broke in on their ceremony.

Marília and Matheus had planned on an outdoor wedding last month, but a storm came in so they moved their ceremony to a tent. At the same time, a stray dog was looking for a dry place to wait out the storm, the Dodo reported.

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Wedding guests tried to shoo the muddy dog away, but he came back. Right when the bride was supposed to walk in, the dog came down the aisle.

Guests removed the dog again, and everything went as planned.

Until it came time for the vows.

The dog returned and decided he was going nowhere, taking a nap on Marílla’s veil.

The dog stayed through the ceremony, and the reception until the rain stopped. The dog left of his own accord, the Dodo reported.

You’d think the story would end that day, but it didn’t.

The couple realized the dog was now part of their lives and if they could find him, they would adopt him. But a week went by without a reunion.

Eventually they found their extra wedding guest and brought the now-former street dog home, gave him a bath, some food and a name: Snoop.

Missing airman found 40 years later living double life after desertion

Published: Monday, October 16, 2017 @ 8:37 PM

Missing Airman Found Living Double Life 40 Years After Desertion

A serviceman who disappeared 40 years ago from an Air Force Base in North Dakota was found living a double life in Seminole County, investigators said.

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Jeffrey Michels, 64, of Sanford, is in the custody of the United States Air Force after he was arrested last Thursday on charges of desertion. According to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons website, Michels failed to report for duty at Minot Air Force Base in North Dakota on July 6, 1977. 
He hadn't been seen or heard from since the Facebook group "Veteran Doe: posted a picture of Michels on July 9. However, Michels wasn’t missing -- he was living at a home in the Terra Bella neighborhood in Sanford with his wife and kids under an alias, which he used for years, investigators said.

According to a police report, Michels went by the name Jeffrey Lantz. Records showed he used the name in 1998 to obtain a license from the state of Florida for his construction business called Atlantic Development Corporation. He also used the name to buy a home in Seminole County, according to the county’s property appraisers website. 

>> Related: Search continues for 5 soldiers missing after Army Black Hawk crash

Because there is no statute of limitations for desertion, Michels will stand trial in a military court. 

Trip to pumpkin patch leaves woman with painful infection from tick bite

Published: Thursday, October 19, 2017 @ 8:15 AM

Woman Warning Others After Trip to Pumpkin Patch Leads to Painful Infection

A California woman is recovering after she got a bad bacterial infection when she was bitten by a tick during a trip to a pumpkin patch.

Jennifer Velasquez said she was wearing flip-flops and shorts to a pumpkin patch when she was bitten by a tick two years ago, The Sacramento Bee reported. The tick was infected by Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

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She posted a photo of the rash to her Facebook page last week, saying that, “I couldn’t walk, my whole body was in pain, my hair fell out, and I almost died.”

And while the bite and the infection that followed happened two years ago, she posted the photo this month after seeing photos of families going to fall activities to remind them to cover up during outings and do a tick check after the trip, The Bee reported.

So what should people look for when it comes to Rocky Mountain spotted fever?

The Mayo Clinic says symptoms include:

  • High fever
  • Chills
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle aches
  • nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion or other neurological changes
  • Distinctive rash

And while Velasquez said to be careful and don’t repeat the mistake she made by wearing flip flops to a pumpkin patch, she said not to avoid going just to prevent a tick bite, The Bee reported.

Nude photos taken in Florida judge’s chambers lead to clerk’s arrest

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 11:20 PM

Nude Photos Lead To Clerk's Arrest

A Florida clerk who allegedly took nude photos of his girlfriend in a judge’s chambers was arrested Monday on a petty theft charge, news reports stated.

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The twisted tale involves Jefferson County Clerk of Courts Kirk Reams, 40, and his ex-girlfriend Brittany McClellan, according to the Tallahassee Democrat
The two began dating in 2012, had a child together and broke up about a year later, the Tallahassee Democrat reported.
In 2013 and 2014, McClellan was arrested twice on domestic violence charges during fights with Reams, according to court records obtained by the Tallahassee Democrat. The two also went through a tumultuous custody battle for their child, the paper added. 

The saga continued into late 2016, when McClellan told the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office that while they were dating Reams took nude photos of her inside a circuit court judge’s chamber’s office. She also told them that McClellan let her borrow a government laptop, which she used for about a year, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. 

An investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Public Corruption Unit determined that the nude photos taken in 2013 did exist, but that McClellan did not do anything criminal, The Tallahassee Democrat reported. 

However, the state agency continued its investigation into the allegation of misuse of a government-owned laptop. She told officials that she used it to order supplies for her salon in Monticello, east of Tallahassee. 

Reams was charged Monday with misdemeanor petty theft and booked into jail. 

His attorney, David Collins of Monticello, said criminal charges should never have been filed and that the case should have been handled by the Florida Commission on Ethics. He said the latest event is essentially the result of an ex-girlfriend trying to smear Reams’ reputation.

“It appears that the government has gone to great lengths and costs to the taxpayer to prosecute a misdemeanor whose basis is that the clerk of court loaned an otherwise unused laptop and the clerk is the person who has authority to give permission to do such,” he told the Tallahassee Democrat. 

Read more at the Tallahassee Democrat