A Mason City, Iowa, mother was recently left in shock after her 13-year-old son and his 14-year-old step-brother were arrested and charged with felonies for stripping the bark of a mature tree that was already falling off.
"There's nothing worse than seeing my 13-year-old son turn right, left and front as his mug shot is taken," Naomi Wells, the shocked mother of Parker Niles, told Globe Gazette.
Parker and his step-brother, Devon Barkema, were charged earlier this summer with second-degree criminal mischief, a class D felony, according to the Gazette, for stripping the bark off the mature tree located on Mason City school property. more >>
Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Dana Hathaway was brought to tears in Detroit Wednesday as she sentenced 55-year-old white homeowner Theodore Wafer to at least 17 years in prison for fatally shooting Renisha McBride, 17, on his front porch as she tried seeking help after her car crashed last November.
"This one of the saddest cases," said a tearful Hathaway as she sentenced Wafer at the end of an emotional hearing, according to Reuters. "An unjustified fear is never an excuse to take someone's life."
The racially charged case had sparked protests in the Detroit area. Wafer shot dead McBride when she banged on his front door, apparently seeking help one rainy morning last November, after her car had crashed in the vicinity of his Dearborn Heights suburban neighborhood. She was also intoxicated. more >>
A West Virginia mayor received a recent surprise phone call from Duane Chapman, star of the now cancelled "Dog the Bounty Hunter" show, after he made a video pleading with his community to join in prayer to save their drug and crime-ridden small town.
Mayor Steve Williams posted the video last month intended to only reach religious leaders as well as Huntington neighbors and authorities. But now that Chapman, a self-professed born-again Christian heard his plea, Williams is hopeful that his message is reaching beyond his city's limits.
"I thought that was great of somebody in politics to be able to ask for divine intervention. I think that's what America is about is freedom of religion in every place," Chapman told West Virginia-based news station WSAZ 3. more >>
A Georgia grand jury handed down eight charges against Justin Ross Harris for the death of his son this summer.
Harris is charged with malice murder and two counts of felony murder for the death of 22-month-old Cooper, who was left in a hot car and perished this summer. Harris was also charged with first-degree cruelty to children, second-degree cruelty to children, criminal attempt to commit a felony (sexual exploitation of a minor) and two counts of dissemination of harmful material to minors.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges, with his defense stating that the father had simply forgotten his son in the vehicle on his way to work. However, officials were suspicious of Harris from the very beginning, and evidence began to pile up that cast down on his story. more >>
The Islamic State has beheaded Steven J. Sotloff, an American journalist held hostage by the terrorist organization.
A video posted online Tuesday purportedly shows Sotloff, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, being executed by a masked ISIS member clad in black.
The family of Sotloff made a statement via a spokesmen that they believe the video of his beheading to be authentic. more >>
Artist Cee Lo Green deleted his Twitter account after reportedly making controversial comments about rape, then thanking God for "exoneration, fairness, and freedom" and asking for the public's forgiveness.
"@Twinklecrepe @dELYSEious @RaavynnDigital if someone is passed out they're not even WITH you consciously! so WITH implies consent. When someone [breaks] in a home there is broken glass where is your plausible proof anyone was raped," the rapper tweeted.
Green was in court the day before to plead "no contest" to slipping a woman ecstasy without her consent in 2012. The woman previously told authorities that she woke up in the performer's bed and was unable to remember what happened the night before. Green's lawyer told the court that the two had had "consensual relations." He has not been charged with any type of assault or abuse in the case. more >>