A youth pastor, his wife and his two sons were all killed after being involved in a six-vehicle crash in Tennessee, and one driver has been charged with driving under the influence.
Pastor Michael Cruce, 43, his wife Monica and two sons, Joshua, 17 and Stephen, 14, were killed instantly when two vehicles suddenly stopped on I-40 and Cruce's vehicle, along with four others, slammed into the stopped vehicles. It's believed that Chase Fakes, 24, was under the influence of alcohol. Four other victims in the crash were flown to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment, but the Cruce family all perished.
Michael served as the youth pastor at Rosebower Baptist Church in Kentucky and was described as being dedicated to the church and his calling. more >>
Three siblings in Connecticut have filed a lawsuit against several Jehovah's Witnesses organizations in the state after alleging they were sexually abused by a "ministerial servant" from the group.
Sybelle Almodovar, Ferdinand Almodovar and Evelyn Selimaj announced the lawsuit along with their attorneys in New Haven. The siblings intend to sue the East Spanish Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses New Haven and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York.
The three allege that they were sexually abused by a registered sex offender in the organization; Orlando Afandor reportedly abused the siblings over a five-year period beginning in 1988. Afandor was convicted of the sexual assault of a child in Omaha, Nebraska, in 2010 and released from prison in 2013. He did not respond to inquiries by the media. more >>
Teresa and Joe Giudice were sentenced to a combined four-plus years in federal prison Thursday and stars took to Twitter shortly after to call for prayers for the couple.
Teresa, who shares four daughters with her husband, Gia, 13, Gabriella, 9, Milania, 8, and Audriana, 4, was sentenced to 15 months behind bars, with a restitution payment of $414,588. Joe was sentenced to serve 41 months, reported the New York Daily News.
Earlier this year, the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" stars pleaded guilty to mail, wire and bankruptcy fraud. Joe also pleaded guilty to tax fraud. more >>
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon hear arguments as to whether Arkansas inmate Gregory Holt, who's also known as Abdul Maalik Muhammad, has the right to grow a beard in keeping with his religious beliefs.
Holt petitioned the Supreme Court to allow him to grow an inch-long beard in accordance with his religious obligations, even though Arkansas correctional rules do not allow for such grooming.
For his appeal to the Supreme Court, Holt is being represented by multiple groups, including the Washington, D.C.-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. more >>
Somali-American Mohamed Osman Mohamud was sentenced this week to 30 years in prison for the attempted bombing of a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Oregon.
Mohamud, 19, reportedly reached out to an Islamic terrorist organization in Pakistan in order to do something for "his people." However, the teen actually spoke with an undercover FBI agent posing as an Al-Qaida operative in 2010, who earned his trust and told him there were five ways he could help the organization. Mohamud chose to become "operational," meaning that he would do something to actively promote Al-Qaida.
He specifically came up with the idea to bomb the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, even going so far as to provide maps of the area to the undercover FBI agents and taking part in a practice run. He seemed gleeful about the possibility of doing real damage to ordinary citizens, telling the agents that "that's, what I want for these people," according to government paperwork. more >>
A member of Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect in Idaho was sentenced to 90 days in jail after admitting to abusing young boys in his home.
Nathan C. Jessop, 49, was given the sentence after pleading guilty to three counts of misdemeanor injury to a child. His sentence, which included 360 additional days of prison time, was suspended. Jessop reportedly was in charge of a home in Idaho where Mormon parents would send their children on "repentance missions." He admitted to physically disciplining nine boys and locking at least one of them in a furnace room for two days.
"What we are talking about is just an individual and what our basic assumptions are about how we treat kids and how we protect their health and safety, and I think that's really what the case was all about," Prosecutor Stephen Herzog told azcentral. more >>