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Published: Wednesday, February 28, 2018 @ 6:50 PM
— Walmart is changing its gun-purchasing policy in the wake of the deadly school shooting on Valentine’s Day in Parkland, Florida, following the lead of Dick’s Sporting Goods, which did the same thing earlier Wednesday.
Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 3:56 PM
FORT SMITH, Ark. — A dog who survived three gunshots to the face has found a new home with an Arkansas park ranger.
Hope, a 4-year-old mixed breed dog, was tied to a pole and shot in the face three times this March, according to KFSM.
Hope has scars on her face from where the bullets entered and will need possible mouth surgery in the future, but otherwise her health is back to normal.
Amber Neal, the director of the Hope Humane Society, told WGHP that she was by Hope’s side while she healed, but realized it was time for the dog to find a forever home.
“She's one amazing dog and she deserves the most amazing home,” Neal said. “With me having such a busy work schedule, with all the other babies that I am trying to save, she needs to be somebody's constant companion and that would make her the happiest dog in the world.”
Hope was brought to the Fort Smith Nature Center on Wednesday, where she met Arkansas park ranger Levi Koch.
Koch said he was so moved by Hope’s story that he knew he had to adopt her.
“I would like someone to travel with me and see some neat places, do a lot of hiking on outdoor adventures,” Koch said.
Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 3:42 PM
RICHMOND, Va. — A man who as a teenager participated in a terrifying killing spree that left more than a dozen people dead has been granted a new sentencing hearing in Virginia.
Lee Boyd Malvo, now 33, was sentenced in 2004 to life in prison without the possibility of parole for a series of four murders he and John Allen Muhammad committed as the Beltway snipers. Malvo was just 17 at the time of the slayings, and Muhammad, his mentor, was 41.
The snipers terrorized the greater Washington, D.C., area during a three-week span in 2002 that saw them kill four people and injure three others in Virginia. Another six people were gunned down in the Maryland suburbs in that same time frame.
The pair was captured in October 2002 as they slept at a rest stop in a Chevy Caprice they had modified so they could fire a rifle, undetected, through a hole in the car’s trunk. The Washington Post reported that Muhammad and Malvo were tied to another 11 shootings across the country, five of them deadly.
In the years since Malvo’s and Muhammad’s convictions, and Muhammad’s subsequent 2009 execution for his Virginia crimes, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that defendants who committed serious crimes while under the age of 18 cannot be sentenced to death.
They also cannot be sentenced to a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole, the ruling stated. The new laws became retroactive in 2016, meaning that sentences of death or life without parole that were legal at the time they were handed down could now be vacated.
A three-member panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled on Thursday that Malvo falls into that category and vacated his four life sentences. His case has been remanded to a lower court for resentencing.
“To be clear, the crimes committed by Malvo and John Muhammad were the most heinous random acts of premeditated violence conceivable, destroying lives and families and terrorizing the entire Washington, D.C., metropolitan area for over six weeks, instilling mortal fear daily in the citizens of that community,” Judge Paul Niemeyer wrote in the ruling. “But Malvo was 17 years old when he committed the murders, and he has the retroactive benefit of new constitutional rules that treat juveniles differently for sentencing.
“We make this ruling not with any satisfaction but to sustain the law. As for Malvo, who knows but God how he will bear the future.”
See the appeals court’s entire ruling below.
The order for a new sentencing applies only to Malvo’s Virginia crimes. He also pleaded guilty to six murders in Maryland, where he was given six life sentences.
Thursday’s ruling does not affect his prison time in Maryland, according to The Washington Post. A Montgomery County judge last August upheld those sentences because they were not mandatory life terms.
A spokeswoman for Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring told the Post that his staff attorneys plan to “review the decision closely and decide how best to proceed in a way that ensures this convicted mass murderer faces justice for his heinous crimes.” The attorney general can either ask the entire appeals court for a rehearing, appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court or go forward with the new sentencing hearing.
If the sentencing hearing goes forward, Malvo could still be sentenced to life in prison. The appeals court ruling indicated that it depends on whether the district court finds that Malvo’s crimes reflected “permanent incorrigibility” or the “transient immaturity of youth.”
The appeals court’s ruling listed a timeline of most of Malvo and Muhammad’s crimes:
Adams told The New York Times shortly after the shooting that she thought she had been struck by lightning. Witnesses, including two police officers, spotted a man rifling through the women’s purses before escaping during a short foot chase, the Times reported.
A blue sedan was also spotted near the scene, which helped lead investigators to the snipers after Malvo’s fingerprint, found on the page of a magazine he dropped in Montgomery, identified him as a suspect.
The four Montgomery County victims were killed in the morning within a span of about two hours, according to authorities. Around 9:20 p.m. that same night, Pascal Charlot, 72, was shot while walking in D.C.
The shootings on the appeals court’s list are not all of the crimes that Malvo and Muhammad have been linked to, and Malvo has said that the pair shot more people than those investigators have identified.
Malvo told Virginia investigators after his arrest that he and Muhammad, who he considered his father, acted as a sniper team in order to extort $10 million from the “media and the government,” the appeals court ruling stated. He initially confessed to being the shooter in 10 of the incidents.
When testifying at trial in Fairfax County, however, Malvo admitted only to shooting the 13-year-old boy in Prince George’s County and the Montgomery County bus driver who was killed. All others, Muhammad shot, the teen claimed.
At that point, Malvo’s defense team was asserting an insanity defense, alleging that the boy, who had an abusive and lonely childhood in Jamaica and Antigua, was indoctrinated by Muhammad, who took him under his wing when Malvo was 15. Muhammad had taken his own three children to Antigua without their mother’s knowledge, the court ruling stated.
Muhammad, a U.S. Army veteran who ultimately lost custody of his children, trained Malvo intensively in military tactics for almost a year, telling the teen that he had a plan to get his children back, the ruling stated.
Mildred Muhammad, his ex-wife, has said she believed she was the ultimate target of her former husband’s rage, CNN reported. Prosecutors during John Muhammad’s trials argued that the sniper shootings were a smoke screen to hide his goal of killing Mildred and regaining custody of their children.
Malvo told “Today” in 2012 that he was sexually abused by John Muhammad. He also described the psychological hold he said Muhammad had on him.
“I couldn’t say no,” Malvo said. “I had wanted that level of love and acceptance and consistency for all of my life and couldn’t find it. And even if unconsciously, or even in moments of short reflection, I knew that it was wrong, I did not have the willpower to say no.”
In interviews with the Post, Malvo called himself a “monster.”
“If you look up the definition, that’s what a monster is” Malvo told the newspaper. “I was a ghoul. I was a thief. I stole people’s lives. I did someone else’s bidding just because they said so. There is no rhyme or reason or sense.”
Malvo told “Today” producers that the interview would be his last about the crimes, he said he had forgiven himself for his crimes because that is the “only way (he) can live with (himself.)”
He also urged the families of the victims to find peace and forgiveness.
“Please do not allow my actions and the actions of Muhammad to hold you hostage and continue to victimize you for the rest of your life,” Malvo said. “If you give those images and thoughts that power, it will continue to inflict that suffering over and over and over, and over and over again. Do not give me or him that much power.”
Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 4:03 PM
Updated: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 4:03 PM
WASHINGTON — Republican leaders have delayed a vote on a compromise immigration reform bill until next week, hoping to rally more support for the measure even as President Donald Trump casts doubt on its chances of success.
Update 4 p.m. EDT June 22: Officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a notice Friday that said it might seek as many as 15,000 beds to detain immigrant families.
The notice came days after Trump signed an executive order that ended his administration’s policy of separating migrant children from parents at the U.S.-Mexico border. Hundreds of children have been separated from their parents as a result of the administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which prompted authorities to separate children from adults who were being prosecuted for illegally coming into the country.
The agency has about 3,300 beds for immigrant parents and their children in family detention facilities. The notice came amid a scramble by federal agencies to find space for immigrants. Official with the Pentagon said officials were also drawing up plans to house up to 20,000 unaccompanied children on military bases.
Update 12:05 p.m. EDT June 22: Experts with the United Nations’ Human Rights Office said Friday that the executive order signed this week by Trump is inadequate to address the separation of migrant children and parents at the border.
Officials with the U.N. called for the U.S. “to release these children from immigration detention and to reunite them with their families based on the best interests of the child and the rights of the child to liberty and family unity.”
The Trump administration in April directed prosecutors to pursue cases against all people suspected of entering the country illegally. The enforcement plan led authorities to separate children from adults who were detained as part of immigration proceedings.
The executive order signed Wednesday by the president ended his administration’s family separation policy, but U.N. officials noted that no mention was made of the fate of children already separated from their parents as a result of the enforcement push.
Authorities have said efforts are being made to reunite parents and children, although details about those efforts were not immediately available.
Update 10:00 a.m. EDT June 22: President Donald Trump on Friday morning accused the Democrats of telling “phony stories of sadness and grief” and wielding the immigration issue for political gain in a series of tweets calling for immigration reform.
“We must maintain a Strong Southern Border,” Trump wrote.
We must maintain a Strong Southern Border. We cannot allow our Country to be overrun by illegal immigrants as the Democrats tell their phony stories of sadness and grief, hoping it will help them in the elections. Obama and others had the same pictures, and did nothing about it!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
Earlier Friday he said America “has pathetically weak and ineffective Immigration Laws” and accused the Democrats once more of obstructing efforts to address immigration.
80% of Mexico’s Exports come to the United States. They totally rely on us, which is fine with me. They do have, though, very strong Immigration Laws. The U.S. has pathetically weak and ineffective Immigration Laws that the Democrats refuse to help us fix. Will speak to Mexico!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
The House is set to vote next week on a Republican immigration reform bill after a more conservative measure failed Thursday. It was unclear whether the bill would be successful.
BREAKING: President Trump says Republicans should "stop wasting their time" on immigration reform https://t.co/ECgrN2BlDn— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) June 22, 2018
Update 7:34 a.m. EDT June 22: A senior Trump administration official told the Associated Press that approximately 500 of the more than 2,300 children separated from families at the border have been reunited since May. But the official did not specify if the children remained detained with their families or if they have been released, the AP reported.
The official, who spoke with AP on the condition of anonymity, said that many parents and children were reunited after a few days. But some parents have told reporters that they don’t know where their children are and can’t get answers from officials. Some say mothers were deported without their children, the AP reported.
500 immigrant children have been reunited with their loved ones, but it's unclear how many of those families are still in detention centers. https://t.co/CAhd4FtOms— AP West Region (@APWestRegion) June 22, 2018
After Republicans delayed the vote on immigration reform plans, President Donald Trump posted on Twitter Friday morning, telling lawmakers to wait until November to take on the bill, Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree reported.
Republicans should stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November. Dems are just playing games, have no intention of doing anything to solves this decades old problem. We can pass great legislation after the Red Wave!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
Trump also called Democrats obstructionists who won’t give the bill the 10 votes needed to pass.
Even if we get 100% Republican votes in the Senate, we need 10 Democrat votes to get a much needed Immigration Bill - & the Dems are Obstructionists who won’t give votes for political reasons & because they don’t care about Crime coming from Border! So we need to elect more R’s!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2018
Update 9:30 p.m. EDT June 21: Despite President Donald Trump’s executive order on Wednesday rescinding his own policy of separating migrant children from their families during illegal border crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border, multiple states are suing the Trump administration over the policy, according to The Hill.
The states involved in the lawsuit contend the executive order does not solve the problems created by the separation of families, The Hill reported.
Democratic attorneys general from Washington state, Maryland and Massachusetts, among others, contend the administration “violated the due process rights of parents and children who were separated.” The lawsuit was expected to be filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Washington state.
Some 2,300 children have been separated from their families during the past six weeks the administration has been enforcing its “zero tolerance” policy.
Update 7:30 p.m. EDT June 21: President Donald Trump is criticizing Democrats for their opposition to the hard-line Goodlatte immigration bill, which was defeated in the U.S. House Thursday.
Tweeting that “they won’t vote for anything,” the president complained that Democrats are blocking reform.
“You cannot pass legislation on immigration whether it be for safety and security or any other reason including “heart,” without getting Dem votes. Problem is, they don’t care about security and R’s do,” Trump tweeted Thursday night.
You cannot pass legislation on immigration whether it be for safety and security or any other reason including “heart,” without getting Dem votes. Problem is, they don’t care about security and R’s do. Zero Dems voted to support the Goodlatte Bill. They won’t vote for anything!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2018
Update 7:00 p.m. EDT June 21: House Republicans are delaying a vote on a so-called compromise immigration measure until next week, according to The Associated Press.
A vote on the legislation was first rescheduled from Thursday until Friday after another, more severe immigration measure was defeated.
Republican leaders reportedly hope they can get more support for the compromise measure by delaying the vote.
BREAKING: Leaders delay vote on compromise GOP immigration bill until next week and plan changes in hopes of salvaging measure.— The Associated Press (@AP) June 21, 2018
Update 5:00 p.m. EDT June 21: The more conservative of two immigration bills in the U.S. House of Representatives went down in defeat Thursday as 41 Republicans joined the Democrats in a 231-193 vote against the measure, according to Cox Media Group’s Jamie Dupree.
The hard-line measure called for extreme limits on legal immigration and only temporary protections for “Dreamers,” who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children by their parents.
41 House Republicans joined all Democrats in defeating a more conservative immigration bill https://t.co/vHvxLeFYEv— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) June 21, 2018
The second bill is seen as more of a compromise measure, but it’s unclear if Republican leadership can manage to get the votes needed to pass it on Friday, and even if they do, it faces an even bigger hurdle in the Senate, where Republicans don’t have the votes to pass an immigration bill on their own. They’ll need Democrats’ support to get it done.
The Washington Post is reporting an important House moderate in the immigration debate, Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) has said he won’t support the compromise measure.
Hurd has said he opposes the measure because it includes funding for a border wall, a campaign promise Trump made to supporters during the 2016 presidential campaign.
He called the proposed wall “an expensive and ineffective 4th century border security tool that takes private property away from hundreds of Texans,” according to the Post.
Update 2:45 p.m. EDT June 21: The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to change the rules around the detention of child migrants one day after the president ended his administration’s policy of separating children from parents at the border, The Associated Press reported.
Officials aim to change rules governed by the Flores settlement, which requires the government to release children from custody after 20 days to their parents, adult relatives or other caretakers, in order of preference.
The move is aimed at stopping the separation of children from their families amid a new policy where anyone caught crossing the border is charged criminally.
Update 2:25 p.m. EDT June 21: The House of Representatives on Thursday rejected one of two proposed GOP immigration reform bills, according to Cox Media Group's Jamie Dupree.
House defeats more conservative immigration reform bill pic.twitter.com/pCTuVsht1M— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) June 21, 2018
Meanwhile, aides said the House will wait until Friday to vote on a second immigration bill, The Associated Press reported.
BREAKING: Aides say House will delay until Friday vote on GOP compromise immigration bill as party divisions remain.— The Associated Press (@AP) June 21, 2018
Update 1:18 p.m. EDT June 21: Trump discussed the need for immigration reform during a cabinet meeting Thursday, citing national security concerns.
My Administration is acting swiftly to address the illegal immigration crisis on the Southern Border. Loopholes in our immigration laws all supported by extremist open border Democrats...and that's what they are - they're extremist open border Democrats.... pic.twitter.com/F73I5gu0Q5— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2018
Update 12:20 p.m. EDT June 21: First lady Melania Trump is making an unannounced visit to the U.S.-Mexico border Thursday.
Melania Trump was in Texas on Thursday morning and planned to tour two facilities holding child immigrants, CNN reported.
She previously spoke out against the policy of separating migrant children and parents at the border.
"Mrs. Trump hates to see children separated from their families and hopes both sides of the aisle can finally come together to achieve successful immigration reform," said her spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, according to CNN. "She believes we need to be a country that follows all laws, but also a country that governs with heart."
The Trump administration policy was ended Wednesday by an executive order from the president.
Update 12:10 p.m. EDT June 21: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday called a pair of proposed Republican immigration reform bills a “compromise with the devil.”
She said that the bills make Republicans complicit in Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy. The policy, which directs prosecutors to pursue cases against any person suspected of coming to the country illegally, resulted in the separation of hundreds of children from their parents at the border.
.@NancyPelosi: "It is not a compromise. It may be a compromise with the devil, but it's not a compromise with the Democrats in terms of what they have in their bill."— CSPAN (@cspan) June 21, 2018
Full video here: https://t.co/PKnwkpPCFo pic.twitter.com/d6fZcuMrTY
Update 11:55 a.m. EDT June 21: House Speaker Paul Ryan said officials are working on reuniting families that have been separated in recent weeks at the border.
“I believe (the Department of Homeland Security) is working on that,” Ryan said Thursday at a news briefing. “We obviously want to have families reunited.”
He said DHS officials are working with the Department of Health and Human Services to bring the families back together.
“What we’re trying to do is put the families at the head of the queue so they can be adjudicated faster,” he said.
.@SpeakerRyan: "If these bills do not pass today then we will cross that bridge when we get to it. But the last thing I want to do right now is undercut the votes that we are about to have on what I think are pretty darn good immigration measures." https://t.co/Y4rSBy1brL pic.twitter.com/MvQXhfBwFQ— CSPAN (@cspan) June 21, 2018
The Trump administration in April directed prosecutors to pursue cases against all people suspected of crossing the border illegally as part of a “zero tolerance” immigration enforcement policy. Parents were separated from their children as they faced prosecution. Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Trump ended the policy Wednesday with an executive order days after he first started calling on Congress to stop the separations through legislation.
The House is set to vote Thursday on a pair of Republican immigration reform bills, although neither appeared likely to succeed.
Original report: “The Border has been a big mess and problem for many years,” Trump wrote. “At some point (Senate Minority Leader Chuck) Schumer and (House Minority Leader Nancy) Pelosi, who are weak on Crime and Border security, will be forced to do a real deal, so easy, that solves this long time problem.”
The Border has been a big mess and problem for many years. At some point Schumer and Pelosi, who are weak on Crime and Border security, will be forced to do a real deal, so easy, that solves this long time problem. Schumer used to want Border security - now he’ll take Crime!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2018
Democrats want open Borders, where anyone can come into our Country, and stay. This is Nancy Pelosi’s dream. It won’t happen!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2018
The president’s tweet comes one day after he ended his administration’s much-derided policy of separating migrant children from parents at the border and as the House readies to debate and vote on a pair of Republican immigration reform bills.
It was not immediately clear whether the bills would be successful. House Republican leaders were still trying Thursday morning to build support for one negotiated among conservative and moderate factions of the GOP, although the measure is unlikely to pick up much, if any, Democratic support.
Ahead of the planned vote, the president accused Democrats of “only looking to Obstruct” the immigration bills in order to gain political clout ahead of the mid-term elections.
“What is the purpose of the House doing good immigration bills when you need 9 votes by Democrats in the Senate, and the Dems are only looking to Obstruct (which they feel is good for them in the Mid-Terms),” Trump wrote Thursday morning in a tweet. “Republicans must get rid of the stupid Filibuster Rule-it is killing you!”
What is the purpose of the House doing good immigration bills when you need 9 votes by Democrats in the Senate, and the Dems are only looking to Obstruct (which they feel is good for them in the Mid-Terms). Republicans must get rid of the stupid Filibuster Rule-it is killing you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 21, 2018
Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to end his administration’s policy of separating migrant children from parents suspected of coming to the country illegally at the border. The controversial policy was a result of Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration enforcement push announced in April.
Nearly 2,000 children were separated from their families over a six-week period in April and May, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Published: Friday, June 22, 2018 @ 12:34 PM
NEW YORK — A man who cut off his wife’s arm with a steak knife in Brooklyn on Thursday is still at large, New York police say.
The woman’s arm was severed just above the elbow, investigators told WNYW. Police said she also lost two fingers in the attack.
Yong Lu, 35, is wanted by New York police after he fled the scene, New York police tweeted.
WANTED: Male, Asian, approximately 5’6, 130 lbs for felonious assault that occurred on 55th street between 4-5 ave. on June 21st. Help us find this individual, share information. #800577TIPS pic.twitter.com/BynpwZ0c1w— NYPD 72nd Precinct (@NYPD72Pct) June 22, 2018
The 35-year-old victim is pregnant, WCBS reports. She is hospitalized in stable but critical condition.
WANTED: Help us find Yong Yu, 38 y/o, 5'8", wanted in connection to assault/attacking a 35-year-old woman with a knife yesterday near 55 St./5 Ave #Brooklyn. If you see him, call 911. Share info by calling #800577TIPS. pic.twitter.com/C23j3l1jtB— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) June 22, 2018
The couple has a 7-year-old son, WNYW reports.