Who was Sgt. La David Johnson? 7 things to know about the fallen soldier, ‘Wheelie King'

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 6:20 PM

Reports: President Trump to Widow of Fallen Soldier, He Knew "What He Signed Up For"

The mother of fallen U.S. Army Sgt. La David Johnson said Wednesday that during a call with her son’s widow, President Donald Trump said the soldier “knew what he signed up for.”

>> RELATED: Family says Trump told fallen soldier's widow that husband 'knew what he signed up for'

Trump has since denied he said those words and told members of the Senate Finance Committee, “I had a very nice conversation with the woman, with the wife, who sounded like a wonderful woman. I didn’t say what that congresswoman said. Didn’t say it at all, she knows it.”

>> Read more trending news

The initial account of Trump’s phone conversation with Johnson’s widow was provided Tuesday by U.S. Rep Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., and Johnson’s mother, Cowanda Jones-Johnson, confirmed the congresswoman’s version was accurate.

>> RELATED: Trump: Lawmaker 'fabricated' account of his talk with widow

After she was pressed from reporters, Johnson said, “Yes, he did state that comment,” The New York Times reported.

Here are 7 things to know about Sgt. La David Johnson:

He was from Florida.

Johnson lived in Miami Gardens, Florida.

Hours after Johnson was identified as a fallen soldier in the Oct. 4 attack in Niger, Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a statement:

“Ann and I join Floridians across the state in honoring the lives of U.S. Army Sgt. La David T. Johnson and the other three U.S. soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country and our freedom. We will never forget their heroic actions and our hearts break for their families and loved ones. We will continue to pray for the safety of all our brave military members across our country and abroad.

He was married and was expecting his third child with his wife.

Johnson is survived by his widow Myeshia Johnson.

He was the father of a 2-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter.

They were set to welcome their third child in January, according to Times.

>> RELATED: Letters to grieving families are a presidential tradition. Here are some famous ones

He was part of the “5,000 Role Models of Excellence” program.

Wilson founded the program in 1993 in an effort to recruit adult male role models and train them to help “at-risk” youth.

According to its official website, the program serves 103 schools within Miami-Dade County Public Schools, has more than 8,000 participants and more than 6,000 volunteers.

“He was a true role model,” Wilson told the Miami Herald about Johnson. She added that his cousins, who also went into the program, followed his example.

The program has launched a scholarship in his honor to ensure Johnson’s family, including his three children, will be able to attend college.

You can contribute at this GoFundMe page.

>> RELATED: Woman claims she was not permitted to sing national anthem on flight carrying remains of fallen soldier

He joined the Army in 2014.

According to MilitaryTimes.com, Johnson enlisted in January 2014 as a wheeled-vehicle mechanic.

Before joining the Army, he was known as the “Wheelie King.”

When he was a Walmart employee in Miami, many in the community knew Johnson as the local stunt rider who wore “wildly colored socks” and donned a T-shirt with “Wheelie King” written on it, Miami’s Local 10 News reported.

After news of his death was announced, some remembered him as the “Wheelie King” on social media.

He was the fourth U.S. soldier identified in the Niger ambush.

On Saturday, the Pentagon released Johnson’s name as the fourth soldier killed in the Oct. 4 attack.

>> RELATED: Georgia soldier among those killed in Niger attack

Johnson’s body was recovered two days later, on Oct. 6.

He was 25 years old.

The three other soldiers killed in the ambush were Staff Sgt. Bryan Black, Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Johnson and Staff Sgt. Dustin Wright.
It’s the first time American forces have been killed and wounded in combat in the country, chief Pentagon spokesperson Dana W. White said during a news conference.

The soldiers were wounded while conducting a mission in support of Nigerian security forces, according to White.

They were attached to the Green Berets, which included the Nigerian patrol and were ambushed by Islamic militants near the Niger border with Mali, according to the New York Times.

Johnson’s awards and accolades include:

  • Army Achievement Medal
  • Army Good Conduct Medal
  • Global War on Terrorism Medal
  • Army Service Ribbon
  • Army Parachutist Bade
  • Driver and Mechanic Badge
  • Marksmanship Qualification Badge
  • Canadian Parachutist Wings 

More about Johnson at MilitaryTimes.com.

Donald Trump (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)(Pool/Getty Images)

Suspect named in Pennsylvania police officer's shooting death

Published: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 3:54 AM
Updated: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 11:57 AM

Rahmael Sal Holt
New Kensington police
Rahmael Sal Holt(New Kensington police)

Here’s what we know about the fatal shooting of a New Kensington, Pennsylvania, police officer:

>> Visit WPXI.com for complete coverage

>> Click here or scroll down for more

Lena Dunham slammed for defending 'Girls' producer accused of rape

Published: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 7:29 AM

Lena Dunham (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP
Lena Dunham (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)(Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)

Social media users are slamming actress and “Girls” creator Lena Dunham after she defended one of the show’s producers, Murray Miller, following allegations that he raped a teen actress, Page Six reports.

>> On Rare.us: Lena Dunham responds to backlash after she announced she had to give up her dog, Lamby

“Life comes at you fast @lenadunham,” S.E. Cupp tweeted with a screenshot of one of Dunham's previous tweets, which reads, “Things women lie about: what they ate for lunch. Things women don’t lie about: rape,” side by side with her defense of Miller.

After actress Aurora Perrineau accused Miller of raping her when she was 17, Dunham and co-showrunner Jenni Konner responded in a joint statement, saying, “While our first instinct is to listen to every woman’s story, our insider knowledge of Murray’s situation makes us confident that sadly this accusation is one of the 3% of assault cases that are misreported every year. It is a true shame to add to that number, as outside of Hollywood women still struggle to be believed. We stand by Murray and this is all we’ll be saying about this issue.”

>> Read more trending news

Dunham continued her thoughts on Twitter, later writing, “I believe in a lot of things but the first tenet of my politics is to hold up the people who have held me up, who have filled my world with love.”

However, that was also met with the ire and mocking from users:

In her statement, Perinea, now 23, claimed she woke up in Miller’s bed after consuming alcohol with him at a hotel, and he was “having sexual intercourse with me.” On Friday, she filed a police report in regard to the incident. Miller has since “categorically and vehemently” denied the allegation.

Venus Williams' Florida home burglarized, $400,000 in goods stolen during U.S. Open

Published: Sunday, November 19, 2017 @ 2:31 AM

Venus Williams – Fast Facts

The Florida residence tennis star Venus Williams calls home was burglarized as she played in the U.S. Open in September, according to a Palm Beach Gardens police report released Thursday.

>> Watch the news report here

Though what was taken from the home at BallenIsles Country Club is redacted from the report, police indicate more than $400,000 worth of items were taken from the residence.

>> Serena Williams shares wedding photos in new interview

Palm Beach Gardens police indicate in the report that the last time the items were known to be in the home was Sept. 1, the day Williams’s sister, Serena, gave birth to her first daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.

That was the same day Williams beat Greek tennis player Maria Sakkari in the U.S. Open in New York. Williams made it to the semifinals where she lost to U.S. player Sloane Stephens in three sets on Sept. 7.

The burglary was reported on Sept. 5, according to the report.

>> Read more trending news 

This is not the first time this year Williams has been part of a Palm Beach Gardens police report. On June 9, Williams collided with Linda and Jerome Barson at an intersection near her home. Jerome Barson died weeks later from complication of blunt traumatic injuries.

Williams was not charged in the crash, but Barson’s family has filed a civil lawsuit against her.

Heroin dealer convicted of manslaughter after buyer fatally overdoses 

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 11:44 PM

April Thomas Guthrie, 34, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after a man died from heroin she sold him. (Photo: Carteret County Sheriff's Office)
April Thomas Guthrie, 34, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after a man died from heroin she sold him. (Photo: Carteret County Sheriff's Office)

A drug dealer was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after selling heroin to a man who later died of an overdose from the opioid. 

>> Read more trending news

April Thomas Guthrie, 34, was also convicted of delivery of heroin and was sentenced to three to five years, according to WNCT

Kendal Walbert died of a heroin overdose in August 2014 after buying heroin from Thomas and co-defendant Michael Becker, who testified at the trial, according to WCTI.

Guthrie told deputies the heroin was strong, that two people overdosed on it and that she did twice as well, according to WNCT

Guthrie is already in jail after being convicted of sale of heroin and cocaine in 2015. Her latest sentence begins when that one ends in September 2018.