Roy Moore loses Senate bid as election board certifies Doug Jones as winner

Published: Thursday, December 28, 2017 @ 5:42 AM
Updated: Thursday, December 28, 2017 @ 3:25 PM

What You Need To Know About Roy Moore

Update 12/28, 3:25 p.m. ET: While it is expected that Doug Jones will be sworn in as a member of the U.S. Senate on Jan. 3, Moore can file for a recount within 48 hours of the election certification, according to The Montgomery Advertiser.

Update 12/28, 2:16 p.m. ET: Senator-elect Doug Jones has released a statement following the certification of the Dec. 12 special election, saying that “our victory marks a new chapter for our state and the nation.”

Jones won the election by 21,924 votes. More than 1.3 million votes were cast, The New York Times reported

Update 12/28 2:08 p.m. ET: Doug Jones has officially been named the winner of the Dec. 12 special election against Roy Moore. The election was certified by Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, Attorney General Steve Marshall and Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, who said the process is pretty routine, a reporter with The Montgomery Advertiser posted on Twitter

Jones will take the oath of office Jan. 3 once the Senate returns to Washington, CNN reported

Update 12/28, 1:37 p.m. ET: A judge has denied Roy Moore’s request to delay the certification of the Dec. 12 special election results. 

Update 12/28, 11:58 a.m. ET: Roy Moore’s opponent and winner of the race, Senator-elect Doug Jones has filed a motion to dismiss Moore’s lawsuit.

Original story: Roy Moore filed a complaint Wednesday to block the results of Alabama’s special Senate election, alleging potential voter fraud, CNN reported. 

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Moore, a Republican, lost the Senate race on Dec. 12 to Democrat Doug Jones by more than 20,000 votes. Moore has refused to concede and urged a delay in certifying the results, CNN reported.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is scheduled to certify the special election results Thursday. But the Moore campaign filed a last-minute complaint, arguing that the certification should be delayed until a “thorough investigation of potential voter fraud” is completed.

Moore and his campaign filed a complaint in the Circuit Court of Montgomery, Alabama, listing several allegations and called for “a new special election,” CNN reported.

His complaint alleges that out-of-state residents had been allowed to vote and that election fraud experts had concluded through statistical analyses that fraud had occurred.

Moore's complaint also alleged “anomalous” higher voter turnout in Jefferson County, in which census data shows 43 percent of the population is black. He called the county's 47 percent voter turnout as “highly unusual” and questioned the integrity of its election results.

Florida DA seeks death penalty in Tampa serial killings

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 2:47 PM

Tampa Serial Killer Suspect Arrested

Florida prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty for a 24-year-old man they say is responsible for randomly killing four people in a Tampa neighborhood will face the death penalty, according to news reports. 

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Howell Emanuel Donaldson III was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Benjamin Mitchell, 22; Monica Hoffa, 32; Anthony Naiboa, 20; and Ronald Felton, 60. 

“The death penalty is for the worst of the worst, crimes that are far more egregious than the typical murder, and that’s what we have here,” Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren said at a 10:30 a.m. news conference Tuesday, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The four victims were shot dead in October and November, sparking a manhunt in the Seminole Heights neighborhood. 

>> Who is Howell Emanuel Donaldson III?

Donaldson was arrested Nov. 28 after he handed a coworker at McDonald’s a bag with a pistol inside. The coworker then alerted police, who made the arrest.

The Tampa Police Department said that evidence later taken from the handgun connects it to all four murders, the Times reported. 

During the news conference, Warren said that his office decided to pursue the death penalty due to several factors. He said that Donaldson killed four innocent people in a “cold, calculated and premeditated manner” and that there is no evidence showing he is mentally ill. 

The defendant’s parents, Rosita and Howell Donaldson Jr., face civil contempt charges because of their refusal to answer prosecutors’ questions about their son, the Times reported.

Hawaii governor couldn't correct missile alert sooner because he forgot Twitter password 

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 1:12 PM

Hawaii Governor Forgot Twitter Password, Couldn't Update Missile Alert

Forgetting a password to a social media account can be embarrassing, and that memory lapse caused some anxious moments in Hawaii when a missile alert was sent by mistake.

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When the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency sent the incorrect alert on Jan. 13, panic gripped the state. It took Hawaii Gov. David Ige 17 minutes to take to Twitter to reassure the public that the alert was a false alarm.

The reason, he admitted Monday, is that Ige forgot his Twitter password, The Washington Post reported.

“I have to confess that I don’t know my Twitter account log-ons and the passwords, so certainly that’s one of the changes that I’ve made,” Ige said after he gave his State of the State address, the Post reported.

The missile alert was sent at 8:07 a.m., and Ige was informed by the state’s adjutant general that it was false two minutes after it was sent, the Post reported. Ige posted to Twitter at 8:24, tweeting, “There is NO missile threat.”

The governor posted to his Facebook account 23 minutes after the alert was sent. Ige did not say if he had forgotten his Facebook login credentials, the Post reported.

“I was in the process of making calls to the leadership team both in Hawaii Emergency Management as well as others,” Ige told reporters Monday. “The focus really was on trying to get as many people informed about the fact that it was a false alert.”

Deputies: 2 arrested after 3-month-old child, 51 pounds of heroin, found in SUV

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 3:50 PM

Deputies in Rankin County, Mississippi, arrested two women on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, after they said they seized 51 pounds of heroin from an SUV the women were driving.
Rankin County Sheriff's Office
Deputies in Rankin County, Mississippi, arrested two women on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, after they said they seized 51 pounds of heroin from an SUV the women were driving.(Rankin County Sheriff's Office)

Deputies in Mississippi arrested two women Monday night on suspicion of drug trafficking after authorities said they found 51 pounds of heroin and a 3-month-old child in an SUV the women were driving.

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A deputy pulled over a Ford SUV on Interstate 20 in Rankin County on Monday night for an unspecified traffic violation. Authorities said that during the stop, the deputy became suspicious that the SUV was being used to transport drugs or contraband.

Deputies said the women in the vehicle, driver Arlene Viridiana Moya, 23, and passenger Trisha Lynne Ibarra, 23, allowed authorities to search the SUV. Inside, deputies said they found 51 pounds of heroin concealed in the vehicle.

Deputies in Rankin County, Mississippi, arrested 23-year-old Arlene Viridiana Moya, left, and 23-year-old Trisha Lynne Ibarra, right, on suspicion of drug trafficking on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018.(Rankin County Sheriff's Office)

Deputies estimated the drugs were worth between $2 million and $10 million.

Authorities also found Ibarra’s 3-month-old child in the SUV, deputies said. Rankin County Court Judge Tom Broome ordered the toddler be taken into the custody of Child Protective Services.

Moya, of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and Ibarra, of Laredo, Texas, were arrested on charges of aggravated trafficking of heroin.

Authorities continue to investigate the case.

14-year-old accidentally shot, killed by older sister

Published: Tuesday, January 23, 2018 @ 2:53 PM


A 14-year-old Indiana boy was accidentally shot and killed by his older sister Sunday as they and their father prepared to go target shooting.

Rex William Pruett was shot at his father’s home in Campbellsburg, a small Indiana town located about 50 miles northwest of Louisville, Kentucky. Rex, a seventh-grader at Orleans Junior-Senior High School, died a short time after his father rushed him to a hospital. 

“The father received a phone call and, while he was on the phone, the daughter, in what appeared to be unintentional, shot her brother with a .22-caliber revolver,” Indiana State Police spokesman Chad Dick told The Times-Mail in Bedford.

Officials at the boy’s school, where his sister is a ninth-grader, said that extra counselors were brought in Monday to help students cope with the tragedy. Police investigators waited to release the boy’s name until those measures were in place. 

“The first-period teachers had a written statement to read about the incident and then, for any students that need additional help, we have counselors standing by,” Orleans Community Schools Superintendent Gary McClintic told the newspaper.  

Chris Stevens, principal of the siblings’ school, showed a news crew from WAVE 3 News in Louisville Rex’s locker, which was adorned Monday with photos and letters from his classmates. 

“This does remind you quite a bit of Rex,” Stevens told the station. “There were a lot of tears and a lot of smiles today.”

Stevens said that faculty members and administrators have made it clear to students that the shooting was accidental. When Rex’s sister returns to class, they will offer her their support, he said. 

Family and friends also offered the girl their support on Facebook, where she described her younger brother as “such a sweet little boy.”

“Much love, Rexy, much love. We will all keep you in our hearts,” the girl wrote. 

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Stevens described the rural community as one in which guns are part of everyday life.

“In our elementary, at the sixth-grade level, we have a gun safety course that all of our students are allowed to go through,” Stevens told the news station

McClintic, who said he taught Rex’s father when he was a teacher, described the boy’s family as a good one that had been involved with Orleans’ public schools for multiple generations. 

“It’s hard on the community, just as much as it is on the school,” McClintic told The Times-Mail

Johnny Henderson, pastor of Lost River Missionary Baptist Church in Claysville, said that Rex and his family attended services there the morning of the shooting.

“He was an outstanding young man,” Henderson said.

The pastor said the Pruett family needs support, not criticism over the shooting.

“They need support and people to pray for them for peace and comfort,” Henderson said. “They still have a hard time going forward. They still have a funeral to go to.

“They are going to be living without this young man.”