TIME Crime

High School Senior Accused of Encouraging Friend to Kill Himself

Michelle Carter, 18, later raised money for mental illness in her friend's name

A teenage girl is facing manslaughter charges for allegedly encouraging a male friend to commit suicide.

Michelle Carter, 18, of Plainville, Mass. is accused of having sent text messages to Conrad Roy III as he attempted to kill himself by carbon monoxide poisoning last July, encouraging him to remain in the idling truck as it filled with exhaust fumes.

A police report read in part:

“…when he actually started to carry out the act, he got scared again and exited his truck, but instead of telling him to stay out of the truck … Carter told him to ‘get back in.’”

Carter, an honor roll student, went on to raise money for mental illness in Roy’s name and wrote on social media about suicide prevention. She has been indicted as a “youthful offender.”

[The Sun Chronicle]

TIME Crime

Marathon Bombing Trial Will Stay in Boston

FBI Release Images Of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects
Handout—Getty Images In this image released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on April 19, 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19-years-old, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing is seen.

Trial is set to begin next week

Publicity hasn’t jeopardized Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s right to an impartial jury, a federal appeals panel says, and opening statements can proceed next week as scheduled in the city where the deadly explosions occurred almost two years ago.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel said in a 2-1 ruling Friday that a U.S. district judge correctly denied Tsarnaev’s requests on three occasions to move the trial, especially given the “particularly unusual” timing with jury selection already underway.

“The process has been thorough and appropriately calibrated to expose bias, ignorance and prevarication,” the majority said of Judge George O’Toole Jr. almost daily sessions with potential jurors that began nearly two months ago.

Chief Judge Sandra Lynch and Judge Jeffrey Howard said the ongoing jury selection process did not suggest pervasive prejudice and that it was not clear that pretrial publicity required a change of venue. The defense did not demonstrate irreparable harm if the trial remained in Boston, they said.

“Any high-profile case will receive significant media attention,” the majority said. “Knowledge, however, does not equate to disqualifying prejudice. Distinguishing between the two is at the heart of the jury selection process.”

The judges also noted that other high-profile terrorism cases such as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the prosecution of Zacarias Moussaoui, the man who became known as the “20th hijacker” from the Sept. 11 attacks, occurred in the district where the crimes occurred.

In his dissent, Judge Juan Torruella agreed with Tsarnaev’s lawyers that intense media coverage of the case and the large number of people personally affected by the deadly attack made it impossible for him to find a fair and impartial jury in Massachusetts.

Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured when twin bombs exploded near the marathon finish line on April 15, 2013.

“If a change of venue is not required in a case like this, I cannot imagine a case where it would be,” Torruella wrote. “If residents of the Eastern Division of the District of Massachusetts did not already resent Tsarnaev and predetermine his guilt, the constant reporting on the Marathon bombing and its aftermath could only further convince the prospective jurors of his guilt.”

A defense attorney did not immediately respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment on the ruling. In arguments Feb. 19 before the appeals court, federal public defender Judith Mizner said the local jury pool is “connected to the case in many ways” and cannot be counted on to be fair and impartial.

“This attack was viewed as an attack on the marathon itself … and an attack on the city of Boston,” Mizner said.

She also argued that the trial needed to be moved to maintain public confidence in the judicial system.

Assistant U.S. Attorney William Weinreb told the appeals court that prospective jurors who have strong opinions have “unhesitatingly admitted” them, allowing the judge to rule them out as jurors.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office declined to comment Friday on the ruling.

A jury of 12 jurors and six alternates is to be seated early next week followed by opening statements Wednesday. If the jury reaches a guilty verdict, the same panel will decide whether Tsarnaev lives or dies. The only possible punishments are life in prison without parole or the death penalty.

TIME Crime

Someone Dressed Up a Wooden Dummy to Drive in the Carpool Lane

Suffolk Highway Patrol

It would have worked... until he got pulled over for speeding

A Long Island man was able to drive in the carpool lane Friday morning by allegedly putting a sweatshirt on a wooden dummy– until police pulled him over for speeding.

James Campbell, 56, was issued two tickets after police found him driving in the high-occupancy-vehicle lane of the Long Island Expressway with a crude wooden dummy shaped like a human. He was pulled over for speeding Friday morning, and told the officer he was trying to get to a new job on time.

The dummy was a wooden board with a “head” attached, wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Sounds like a genius plan.

Read next: Leonard Nimoy’s Final Tweet Will Make You Cry

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TIME Crime

Man Who Butt-Dialed 911 Gets Jailed for Drug Talk

What started as a mistake ended in an arrest

A Pennsylvania man accidentally landed himself and his friends in hot water with law enforcement when he butt-dialed 911.

A 911 switchboard operator was prepared to hang up, as he is trained to do, after a butt-dial came in late last year, but paused when he heard the caller talking with another man about selling stolen electronic devices for cocaine, the York Dispatch reports. The dispatcher, Troy Snyder, stayed on the call for 20 minutes, eventually sending the police to the caller’s location. He ascertained the address when someone in the hotel room used another phone to call a drug dealer with their location so he could come meet them.

When the police arrived, they discovered a computer tablet and some syringes, but all three men denied ownership. One of the men lied about his name; he was the only one to be charged, for false identification. That man, Edward Lee Luttrell, pleaded guilty on Wednesday and was sentenced to 15-30 days in jail. He told the judge he was “happy” with that decision.

[York Dispatch]

TIME Crime

9 Dead in Missouri Shootings

The apparent shooting spree took place in a rural Missouri town

Nine people were found dead early Friday after a series of overnight shootings in a small town in Missouri.

Eight were shot in and around the rural community of Tyrone, including the apparent gunman, and a ninth person found dead at the crime scene had passed away from natural causes, police said.

Law enforcement agents found the body of the apparent shooter, a 36-year-old man, inside a car in the next county over, NBC reports.

Texas County Sheriff deputies said they were alerted to the slayings at 10:15 pm Thursday when a young woman called saying she had heard gunshots in her home and fled. Deputies found two people dead inside that home.

Further investigation led to five other people who had been shot and killed inside Tyrone residences. One person was found injured and taken to the hospital. In another residence, police found the body of a deceased elderly woman who appeared to have died of natural causes.

The relationship between the shooter and the victims is not immediately clear. Police said they would hold a press conference mid-morning.

[NBC]

TIME celebrities

Detectives Are Investigating the Theft of Lupita Nyong’o’s Pearl Dress

US-OSCARS-ARRIVALS-NYONG'O
Mladen Antonov—AFP/Getty Images Actress Lupita Nyong'o poses on the red carpet in this combination image for the 87th Oscars on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California.

No arrests have been made yet

Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are investigating the theft of Lupita Nyong’o’s $150,000 gown.

The department received a call reporting the missing dress around 11:30 pm on Wednesday, the L.A. Times reports. Thursday morning, they were investigating around the London West Hollywood Hotel, but have not yet made any arrests.

The dress, whose 6,000 pearls made headlines during the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday, was designed by Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein.

[L.A. Times]

Read next: Everyone on the Internet Wants to Know What Color This Dress Is

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TIME Crime

Ex-Louisville Guard Chris Jones Pleads Not Guilty to Rape, Sodomy Charges

Duke v Louisville
Joe Robbins—Getty Images Chris Jones of the Louisville Cardinals looks on against the Duke Blue Devils during the game at KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Kentucky, on Jan. 17, 2015

Former Louisville guard Chris Jones pleaded not guilty to charges of raping one woman and sodomizing another, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

A judge released Jones to home incarceration and set his cash bond at $25,000 after Jones appeared in court on Thursday. Two others, Tyvon Walker and Jalen Tilford, were arrested and charged in the incident, according to the Jefferson County Attorney’s Office.

Walker was charged with one count of rape and held on $75,000 bond. Tilford is charged with one count of rape and one count of sodomy. His bail is set at $100,000.

You can view a copies of Jones’ arrest warrants here. (WARNING: Contains graphic content.)

According to the warrant, Jones is accused of forcing one alleged victim to engage in vaginal and anal intercourse. The woman was able to identify Jones because she recognized him as a University of Louisville basketball player. She also said that Jones told her his name.

A second warrant states that Jones, and two other individuals, allegedly forced the second victim to have oral and vaginal intercourse. She also identified Jones from the basketball team.

The alleged incidents both occurred on Sunday, according to the warrant.

In a separate incident on Feb. 17, Jones had reportedly threatened a female student in a text message, according to a Louisville police report, saying he would “smack” her after she “messed up” his room. The woman did not want Jones to be prosecuted.

Jones was suspended from the Louisville program on Feb. 17. He returned to the team two days later and played 36 minutes and scored 17 points in the Cardinals’ 55-53 victory over Miami.

Jones was dismissed from Louisville’s basketball program on Sunday. No reason was given for Jones’ dismissal at the time, but Louisville said in a statement released Thursday that Jones had been dismissed when it learned that he had “violated a curfew and there were other accusations, without knowing specifics.”

Louisville said they can’t comment because of the ongoing investigation and will cooperate with authorities in the matter.

“While Chris is no longer a member our team, we understand that the charges are very serious,” the statement said. “We certainly expect our student-athletes to uphold certain standards, including their treatment of others.”

Jones, a senior, was the team’s third-leading scorer (13.6 points per game) and leader in assists (94) this season.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Crime

Why These Indiana Teenagers Were Convicted of Murder Without Killing Anyone

The so-called 'Elkhart Four' were convicted under a little-used 'felony murder' law

The Indiana Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday whether to hear a case involving three unarmed teenagers who were convicted of murder despite the fact that none of them actually killed anyone.

On Oct. 3, 2012, then-16-year-old Blake Layman broke into a neighbor’s house along with three other teenagers and 21-year-old Danzele Johnson. All of them believed the home was empty, but once inside, the homeowner, Rodney Scott, heard the teens and fired on them with a handgun, fatally hitting Johnson.

MORE: States Use Secret Psychological Tests to Predict Future Crimes

Layman and three other teens—now known as the Elkhart Four—were unarmed at the time, and it was the homeowner who in fact shot Johnson. But the would-be burglars were the ones charged with “felony murder,” which can be found in most states but is rarely used, and allows for murder charges for individuals who commit a felony that leads to a death. Three were convicted after trial, while one pled guilty to the charges.

The Indiana Supreme Court is now considering taking up the case. Last year, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the teenagers’ convictions but said that the sentences applied were too severe.

TIME Crime

University of Minnesota Drops Racial Descriptions From Crime Alerts

Nebraska v Minnesota
Hannah Foslien—Getty Images A general view of TCF Bank Stadium on Oct. 26, 2013 in Minneapolis.

Suspect descriptors will now only be included on a case-by-case basis

The University of Minnesota will no longer include vague racial descriptions in e-mailed campuswide crime alerts, after pressure from student groups.

University of Minnesota Vice President Pamela Wheelock sent an e-mail to students and faculty on Wednesday saying that a suspect’s description would now only be included “when there is sufficient detail that would help identify a specific individual or group,” according to the Star-Tribune.

The student-led campus advocacy group Whose Diversity? has been pressing for school officials to change policy recently, including a Feb. 9 demonstration outside the office of the university’s president, Eric Kaler.

Campus officials say they will now decide whether to include a description of a suspect on a case-by-case basis. The shift away from including racial information is rare but is in effect at the University of Maryland, according to the Star-Tribune, another Big Ten school.

TIME Crime

Ohio Steps Up Fight Against Heroin Deaths

TIME.com stock photos Health Syringe Needle
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Heroin-related fatalities have surged in recent years

Ohio lawmakers are looking to expand access to a drug that helps revive heroin overdose victims, as the state attorney general attempts to reduce its cost.

An Ohio House committee approved a bill Wednesday that would allow any individual—not just emergency responders—to provide heroin overdose antidote Naloxone to friends and family members without a prescription and/or fear of prosecution.

MORE: Heroin Deaths Have Doubled in 2 Years

The bill expands a law passed last year that provided increased access to the drug and allowed police and emergency responders to carry it. The latest bill, approved by the House Health and Aging Committee, would also allow pharmacies to hand out the drug without prescriptions.

Naloxone has been shown to temporarily revive overdose victims, allowing them to breathe and giving paramedics time to save their lives.

Heroin overdoses have grown into a public health crisis in Ohio within the last few years. According to the Ohio Department of Health, heroin-related deaths have increased from 16% of all drug-involved deaths throughout the state in 2008 to 35% in 2012, when 680 people died from a heroin overdose.

MORE: Holder Urges Use of Drug to Fight Heroin Overdoses

As heroin-related deaths have increased, the price of Naloxone has gone up as well. According to the Dayton Daily News, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine is currently negotiating with Amphastar Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to decrease the cost by getting a price rebate for the drug.

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