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Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 1:25 PM
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An Alabama woman’s insulin pump saved her life last week, but not in a way she ever imagined.
Brittany Diggs, 25, was lying in the trunk of her own Nissan Altima just before midnight on March 14, hours after being kidnapped outside her apartment in Birmingham’s Avondale neighborhood by a man wielding a gun. Diggs told “Today” that the gunman kept demanding her money.
Diggs, a nursing student, told him she was a “broke college student” and didn’t have anything.
“He was, like, since you don’t have any money, you’re going to help me get money,” Diggs told “Today.” “So he made me drive him to another side of town (and) he tried to rob two other couples.”
Watch Diggs’ “Today” interview below.
When that didn’t work, the man, who took Diggs’ phone and wallet, forced her into the trunk of the car and drove to multiple ATMs to use her debit card to get cash from her bank account. Hours into her captivity, he pulled into the parking lot of Gas Land in Bessemer.
Before getting out of the car, he made a threat that Diggs said he’d made multiple times through the night.
“(He said), ‘If this don’t work, I’m going to kill you,” Diggs said.
That’s when a panicked Diggs decided to make her move. She said she had seen a video on Facebook about latches inside the trunks of vehicles, a requirement by law since 2000.
“I just got the bright idea to use my insulin pump light,” Diggs told “Today.”
As the man was inside the store, unsuccessfully trying to get more cash from Diggs’ bank account, Diggs held onto the trunk latch and waited.
“He gets in, he’s yelling, he’s pulling out pretty fast, so I’m, like, ‘Oh, shoot, let me hurry up and get out of here,’” she said.
Footage from the convenience store’s exterior security cameras captured the moment that Diggs jumped from the moving car, landed hard on the pavement and stood, fleeing into the store. Her captor hit the brakes, but only for a moment, before fleeing in her car.
Cameras in the store showed Diggs taking cover inside as the owner, Yosef Alsabah, locked the door and called police. At one point, the visibly shaken woman grabbed a shotgun Alsabah kept in the store, fearful the man would come back.
The store owner took the gun from her and assured her the man was not coming back.
Alsabah told AL.com the day after the incident that the man tried several times to get cash out of the ATM in his store, but was trying to get more cash than was in the account. He said the man got frustrated and left.
He was watching the man drive away when he saw the trunk of the car pop open and Diggs roll out, Alsabah said.
Her car was recovered in Birmingham, but the suspect remains at large. Birmingham police officials released an image from surveillance video that shows the man’s face.
Diggs told “Today” that she is moving from her apartment because the suspect took not only her wallet and phone, but also her keys. A friend established a GoFundMe page to help her with the expenses of moving.
As of Monday morning, the page had raised over $16,000, more than double its $7,000 goal.
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 8:29 AM
— The driver in an October crash that killed a Greenon student admitted to a charge of vehicular manslaughter and is due in court today for a disposition hearing, according to the Clark County Juvenile Clerk of Court’s office.
Andrew Scott was 16 when he drove his vehicle off of Fowler Road between Rebert Pike and Broadway Road and struck a pole in Clark County, the Ohio Highway State Patrol said. The crash killed his passenger, Greenon junior Kendal “Kenny” DePhillip, authorities said. Scott is also a Greenon student.
Speed and inattention were suspected to be the causes of the crash, Ohio State Highway Patrol Sgt. Richard Dixon said.
Scott is set to go before Clark County Juvenile Judge Robert Vaughn.
Scott was charged in February with vehicular homicide, vehicular manslaughter and failure to control after a months-long investigation into the crash.
The Clark County Juvenile Clerk of Court’s office said Scott admitted to the vehicular manslaughter charge and prosecutors agreed to dismiss the vehicular homicide and failure to control charges.
Admitting to a charge in juvenile court is similar to pleading guilty in adult criminal court.
REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS: Greenon mourns 3rd student death in 2 months in fatal car crashes
DePhillip was the third Greenon student to die in a fatal crash last fall over just a few months span. His death followed an August crash that killed senior David Waag and sophomore Connor Williams.
Here’s a video from coverage of the crash in October:
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 6:13 AM
— Kettering Fairmont substitute teacher Madeline J. Marx is scheduled to be sentenced today on sexual battery charges in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court.
Marx, 24, pleaded and was found guilty of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with two students and was arrested last November. She is to appear today in front of Judge Steven Dankof.
A 17-year-old student told police he was given oral sex by a teacher July 19 in the parking lot of Big Lots on Wilmington Pike, according to the complaint, affidavit and statement of facts filed in court.
A 16-year-old boy told police he had intercourse with a substitute teacher Sept. 21 in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Smithville Road, according to court documents.
Marx was removed from Fairmont’s building Nov. 8 by police. Marx admitted to having sexual relationships with multiple students, according to court documents.
An affidavit said Marx also confessed to sending several nude pictures via Snapchat and Instagram.
A prosecutor’s office press release indicated Marx also substitute taught in Oakwood. School officials in Oakwood sent parents a letter saying that they did not know of any victims in their school district.
State records indicated Marx has a four-year teaching license as a K-12 education intervention specialist.
Marx graduated in 2012 from Chaminade Julienne High School in Dayton and graduated from the University of Dayton in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in education, according to CJ and UD officials.
According to her UD transcript included in her personnel file, Marx withdrew from a fall 2013 class on sexual ethics.
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 7:09 AM
A Kettering teen accused of murdering a Fairmont High School student in 2016 is set to return to court today after a judge said most evidence questioned by his attorneys can be part of the trial.
A hearing in advance of the May 7 trial of Kylen Gregory, who turned 18 last month, is scheduled this afternoon before Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Dennis Langer.
RELATED: Trial of Kettering teen set for May
Langer recently ruled much of the evidence collected after the deadly shooting of Ronnie Bowers Sept. 4, 2016, will be admissible. He ruled a warrant for telephone records of two of Gregory’s relatives “failed to provide probable cause” for that evidence to be used in the case.
Gregory was 16 years old when the shooting occurred on Willowdale Avenue, and he is being tried as an adult on two counts of murder and related charges.
Authorities and witnesses have said Gregory fatally shot the 16-year-old Bowers while the victim attempted to drive away from a confrontation.
Bowers died two days later - just after hours after Gregory and two other teens were initially charged in juvenile court – in what was ruled Kettering’s first gun-related homicide since 2007.
-MORE COVERAGE ON THIS ISSUE:
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 12:17 AM
Updated: Thursday, April 19, 2018 @ 12:40 AM
TROTWOOD — Residents reported hearing eight to 10 gunshots in a deadly shooting Wednesday night at the Pinewood Gardens apartments.
Shortly after midnight, an investigator with the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office was on the way to the complex on Pinewood Circle off West Main Street between End and High streets.
Medics and police were called sometime after 11 p.m. after there were reports of eight to 10 shots fired, according to the Miami County Regional Dispatch Center.
Residents reported hearing gunshots and then seeing ambulances, fire trucks and police cruisers at the rear of the parking lot.
In a 911 call to dispatchers, one resident reported that the multitude of shots actually forced them to get down on the floor inside of the apartment.
It was not immediately clear how many people were shot or injured by the gunfire, nor whether police have any suspects.