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Published: Thursday, March 08, 2018 @ 1:26 AM
— Jury selection continued Wednesday in the trial of the widow of a man who killed 49 people and injured dozens more in a shooting at a Florida nightclub in 2016.
The case hinges on whether Noor Salman knowingly helped her husband, Omar Mateen, plan the attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. She faces charges of aiding the support of a foreign terrorist organization resulting in death and obstruction of justice.
After five days of jury selection, 42 of the necessary 56 people have been admitted to the jury pool.
Of the nine people who were questioned Wednesday, seven were admitted to the jury pool -- two women and five men.
Defense attorney Linda Moreno said she has been pleased with how the jury selection process has gone thus far.
"We believe in the good people of Orlando," Moreno said. "They are trying so hard, and Noor believes that we will have a fair trial."
The judge has been methodical in his questioning of potential jurors to ensure they'll be impartial should they be selected to serve on a jury.
Potential jurors were required to complete a lengthy questionnaire before they were called in for questioning.
WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer said questionnaires can be helpful in high-profile trials, but they don't answer everything, especially when it comes to religion.
"Their views on (the) Islamic faith were not so extreme on the questionnaire that it brought them in for further questioning," Sheaffer said.
Salman on Wednesday wore a different black jacket than what she has worn in previous days. She requested a wardrobe change because she was cold.
The judge aims to seat a jury by Friday. Opening statements are expected to begin next Wednesday.
Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 11:57 PM
PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — A two-year old trapped under a massive pile of rocks in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was released from the hospital Saturday, thanks to a police officer with a unique talent.
It turned out the responding Portsmouth officer, T.J. Potter, had previous experience as a professional stone mason and specialized in historical foundation repair.
Potter's experience helped him accurately assess the danger the child was in and properly remove the slabs from on top of the child.
"[It was] a five man stone or a five man block which indicated that you would need four to five people to life it and set it on a wall, and we have done stones like that and built with stones like that, so I knew we could lift it by hand," Potter said.
"I think that was the main concern – can we lift it off the boy?"
Authorities responded to 325 Little Harbor Road after a distress call about a 2-year-old trapped under a pile of rocks.
When officers arrived, they found the boy pinned between large slabs of stone.
The boy had been playing on top one of the stone slabs with his grandfather when the slab he was standing on dislodged. The child fell forward and was trapped by the slab, which came to rest on his head.
The stone slabs are being used to build a foundation for a seawall and each slab is estimated to weigh several hundred pounds.
The situation was highly delicate, police said, because one of the stone slabs was resting on the child's head, and could have given way at any moment, putting the child at risk of sustaining the full weight of the stone on his head.
After a coordinated effort by police and firefighters, rescuers freed the boy in about nine minutes.
The child's parents were able to keep him calm as first responders worked their way around the stone slabs and rescued him.
Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 11:04 PM
DECATUR, Ga. — Metro Atlanta police have made an arrest in the shooting death of a teenage girl in a possible road rage incident Wednesday at a busy intersection in Dacatur.
Janae Owens, 17, was in a car with her mother at a red light Wednesday evening when police said a man in a black car opened fire, killing Owens and injuring her mother.
Decatur police arrested a man identified as Simmie Rishcard Reed late Friday night after an anonymous tip. Reed has been charged with one count of murder, two counts of aggravated assault with intent to murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Owens’ family recently moved from Shreveport, Louisiana, to metro Atlanta for a better life, WSB-TV reported.
Investigators told the news station the gunfire was aimed at Owens’ mother, who was driving the car.
The woman’s injuries are not considered life-threatening. Owens’ twin sister was sitting in the back seat and was not injured in the shooting, according to WSB.
Police think road rage may have fueled the gunfire, but Sgt. John Bender told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the motive is still unknown.
Police said although Reed is behind bars, it is still an ongoing investigation.
>> Related: 17-year-old twin sister shot, killed in road rage incident, family distraught as police search for killer
Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 5:47 PM
NEW CARLISLE — A celebration took place earlier today at the New Carlisle Fire Station to celebrate the city being designated a Purple Heart City. The city will post signs at the entrances to the city designating that it’s a Purple Heart City.
The city of New Carlisle was named a Purple Heart City by the Military Order of the Purple Heart in 2014, according to Mayor Ethan Reynolds. The honor means the city has many veterans who served in the armed forces.
“Our city is very close to the base and many young men and women go in and serve the military,” said Reynolds. “Unfortunately, some have been wounded and this is a way for us to honor them and show them respect.”
The idea for the event came after a citizen, David Bauer--a Vietnam veteran and a Purple Heart recipient--came to him and asked about why the city didn’t celebrate being named a Purple Heart City when it happened.
The Purple Heart is awarded to members of the Armed Forces wounded in combat with an enemy force, or posthumously to the next of kin of members of the Armed Forces killed in combat.
Published: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 3:54 PM
Updated: Saturday, June 23, 2018 @ 10:08 PM
MIDDLETOWN — A bicyclist is dead after being struck by a vehicle Saturday afternoon near Middletown’s Sunset Park.
Paul G. Klein, 66, of Middletown was killed after he failed to stop at a stop sign around 2:20 p.m. as he was traveling east on Fisher Avenue and was struck by a 2017 Jeep Cherokee, according to police.
Klein was struck by the Maroon colored Jeep Cherokee driven by Sharma Finley, 66, of Middletown, who was traveling southbound on Sunset Street approaching the intersection with Fisher Avenue, police said.
Middletown Police and EMS arrived on scene and pronounced Klein dead. Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers arrived on scene for the crash investigation.
Finley was not injured in the crash.
Klein was wearing protective equipment at the time of the crash. Alcohol and drugs are not suspected to be factors in the crash.
The crash remains under investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
"It's really a shame cause you wouldn't expect something out here. It's a nice residential area," said Middletown resident Jeremy Reins--who lives up the hill from where the accident happened. "It's sad to hear. It's just people need to try and share this road a bit more, we need to look out for each other if we're driving."