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HEAR THIS HOUR'S UPDATE

Tuesday
Oct212014

Hannah Graham Abduction Suspect Indicted in 2005 Sex Assault

Galveston County Sheriff's Office(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- The suspect in the abduction of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham is being indicted in a 2005 sexual assault.

Jesse Matthew has been charged with attempted capital murder, abduction and sexual penetration with an object, according to the indictment from the Fairfax County Circuit Court.

The victim, who was 26 at the time, was identified only as "R.G." in court papers.

The indictment claims Matthew "did feloniously, willfully, deliberately, intentionally and with premeditation attempt to kill R.G. in the commission of or subsequent to an abduction with the intent to defile."

Matthew, 32, is being held without bail in Charlottesville for the alleged abduction of Graham with intent to defile. The student has not been found, but a search was called off this weekend after police found human remains. Those remains have not yet been identified.

Virginia State Police earlier said they found a forensic link between Graham's disappearance and the 2009 abduction and murder of Morgan Harrington in 2009. When Harrington's body was found in early 2010, police made a connection to the 2005 sexual assault in Fairfax. The woman survived.

Before Monday, police had not made a direct connection between the 2005 assault and Graham's abduction.

Matthew has not been charged in connection to the 2009 Harrington abduction and murder, even though the suspect in that case was previously linked to the 2005 case, and the Virginia State Police have already said that there is a forensic link between Harrington's murder and Matthew.

"Morgan Harrington's case is still ongoing," Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Gellar told ABC News.

More details about the 2005 assault are expected at a press conference Monday afternoon.

Matthew's attorney Jim Camblos had no comment on the new indictment.


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Monday
Oct202014

UN Officials Criticize City of Detroit for Water Shutoffs

Tomjac80/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- United Nations human rights officials on Monday criticized the city of Detroit for shutting off water to customers behind on their bills, saying that the shutoffs discriminate against minorities.

Officials spent the weekend in Detroit "to learn more about the impact of water disconnections on the living conditions of individuals and households and on their human rights to water, sanitation and housing."

"Without water," the U.N. statement read, "people cannot live a life with dignity." Further, "when people are genuinely unable to pay the bill, it is the State's obligation to provide urgent measures, including financial assistance, a specially low tariff or subsidies, to ensure access to essential water and sanitation for all."

The city's water policy allows for water to be shut off to customers more than 60 days behind on their bills. This year alone, 27,000 households have had their water shut off in Detroit.

U.N. officials said that the city had raised water rates by 8.7 percent, passing on the expense of leakages in aging infrastructure.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct202014

Murder Suspect Mistakenly Released From Prison

Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services(BALTIMORE) -- A Maryland murder suspect was mistakenly released from prison on Friday, and state corrections officials say they didn’t even know the man was missing until Sunday night.

Rodriquez Purnell was awaiting trial on murder charges when he was released Friday evening from the Maryland Reception, Diagnostic and Classification Center in Baltimore. Purnell was charged in the St. Patrick’s Day 2013 shooting death of 27-year-old Terrence Rheubottom of Baltimore. Purnell also was convicted of assaulting a Department of Corrections employee after the inmate's arrest on the murder charge. Police have launched a manhunt for Purnell, who was still at large on Monday.

Maryland Corrections spokesman Mark Vernarelli says the mistaken release was not discovered by officials until Sunday night. When they realized Purnell was gone, Vernarelli said officials informed law enforcement immediately, and put the information out to the public Monday morning.

Investigators are now trying to figure out how Purnell was released, and why no one in the system even knew he was missing for two days.

“We just don’t know yet what happened,” Vernarelli told ABC News. “We handle thousands of suspects awaiting trial, and this is very, very rare.”

In 2010, another Maryland inmate briefly found his freedom when he was mistakenly released by Maryland Corrections officials. Raymond T. Taylor was serving three life terms for the attempted murders of his girlfriend and her two daughters when he was released by mistake. Taylor pulled off his escape by successfully posing as another inmate. Corrections officials discovered Taylor had stolen the Correction’s Department inmate identification card of a cellmate, and passed himself off as the man, who had finished his sentence and was due to be released.

Taylor was captured a day later in West Virginia, and several Corrections Department employees were disciplined in the case.


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Monday
Oct202014

Fighter Jets Collide over Kansas, No Serious Injuries Reported

AndersHP84/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(HOWARD, Kan.) -- A pair of F-16 fighter jets were involved in a mid-air collision on Monday in which one of the planes crashed and the pilot of the other was able to return to its base in Tulsa, Okla. and land safely.

According to the Oklahoma National Guard, the planes collided over Howard, about 110 miles away from Tulsa. The two jets were taking part in a training exercise when at the time of the crash. The pilot whose plane crashed was able to eject and was recovered safely.

Col. Max Moss of the Oklahoma National Guard said Monday that, "neither pilot was seriously injured in the accident," but that the pilot who ejected will be medically evaluated at a Wichita hospital.

No further information regarding the crash was immediately available.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct202014

Woman Trapped in Chimney of Man She Met Online

LAPD(LOS ANGELES) -- A woman was arrested in Thousand Oaks over the weekend after firefighters rescued her from a man's chimney. She had been trying to break into the house and had gotten stuck, police said.

The homeowner told Los Angeles station KABC he had met the woman, Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa, online and they had gone out on a few dates, but recently ended the relationship.

Sunday was the second time the woman was found on his roof, he told the station.

Unfortunately, online dating can lead to scary situations and it doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman, relationship expert Rachel DeAlto said.

"Guys think they're so much safer and that they don't have to worry about security issues," she said. "But obviously, a woman in a chimney proves that wrong."

"You need to protect yourself and you don't know who's on the other side of the computer until you meet them in person. Have a couple of dates with them before you bring them into your bubble. Be very protective of where you live," DeAlto added.

She suggests people have a separate email address to use for online dating.

"Most of our emails have our full names attached to them and there is a lot of information people can get from that," she said. "Unfortunately in this day and age, it is very easy to find people."

And be wary of red flags like an online dating profile written in all caps, for example.

"It sounds so bad, but it's true," DeAlto said. "When you have a creepy person talking in all caps and not making sense in a sentence, then you might want to question who you're talking to. Don't just look at the photo."

Nunez-Figueroa was arrested for illegal entry and providing false information to a police officer, and later released. ABC News was not able to reach her for comment. The Ventura County Sheriff's Office does not know if has an attorney.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct202014

Indiana Serial Killer Suspect Says Spree Dates Back Two Decades 

Gary Police Dept(GARY, Ind.) -- The man suspected of murdering seven women in Indiana told police his crime spree dates back two decades, authorities said at a press conference Monday.

Suspect Darren Deon Vann, 43, helped authorities locate the bodies of six victims in Gary, Indiana, after he was arrested in the murder of 19-year-old Afrika Hardy, whose body was found at a Motel 6 in Hammond.

"He's been giving us descriptions, cooperating and accompanying us to locations," Hammond Police Chief John D. Doughty said.

"We don't have a specific reason why he does this," Doughty said.

The chief suggested that Vann may have committed additional murders.

"The investigation could lead to more victims," he said. Doughty also said that the probe "could go back 20 years" based on Vann's statements to police.

Vann told police he "messed up" by committing a crime in Hammond, and is cooperating because "he was looking for a type of deal with prosecution," Doughty said.

Records show Vann is listed as a registered sex offender in Texas, but Hammond authorities would not confirm that information. They said the suspect solicited women on Backpage.com.

Hardy, whose murder helped crack the case open, was part of a prostitution ring, police said. A woman she worked with notified police after Hardy went missing, and gave authorities Vann's phone number.

Her body was found at the Motel 6 on Friday and she was identified on Sunday. She was strangled, police said.

Vann told police he was "surprised" by how quickly he was located, Doughty said.

It's not yet clear how the six other women were murdered. Two of the victims were found together, and three of the women have not been identified.

Murder charges will be filed on Monday, authorities said.


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Monday
Oct202014

LA Kings Player Arrested for Domestic Violence

iStock/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) -- Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov has been arrested in Redondo Beach and accused of domestic violence.

He was immediately suspended by the National Hockey League.

The collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and its players says it can suspend a player during a criminal investigation. Voynov will continue to be paid while the investigation is ongoing, but he will not play. 

The last NHL player arrested for domestic violence was not suspended, but that was before the National Football League was criticized for how it handled Ray Rice's domestic violence arrest.


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Monday
Oct202014

Police Trying To Identify Remains Found in Hannah Graham Search

Charlottesville Police Department(ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va.) -- Investigators are working to confirm the identity of remains found on Sunday during the search for missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, who disappeared last month.

Searches for the 18-year-old sophomore have been suspended after police found human remains in a shallow creek bed near a vacant home. Officials said it could take several days to complete the identification process.

Jesse Matthew, the only suspect in the case, is being held in the Ablemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail awaiting his Dec. 4 hearing. The Virginia resident was arrested in Galveston, Texas, on charges of abduction with intent to defile.

Matthew is being held in isolation in a 6 foot by 9 foot cell with a toilet and a sink. Superintendent Col. Martin Kumer told ABC News that Matthew sleeps on a concrete bed with a plastic covered mattress and a blanket. He can request books from the jail's library, but it isn't clear if he has yet.

Matthew, 32, worked as a technician at the University of Virginia hospital and was seen on surveillance footage with Graham shortly before she vanished.

His attorney, Jim Camblos, released a statement Sunday confirming that he had heard of the discovery of the human remains in Ablemarle County, but did not comment on the case.

Sgt. Dale Terry of the Chesterfield Sheriff's Department said that his five person team found a skull, bones, and vertebrae that appeared long, making it consistent with a tall person's body. Graham was 5-foot-11. A pair of dark-colored pants similar to those Graham was described as wearing on the night of her disappearance were found near the remains.

The remains were found in a dried-up creek bed behind a vacant home off Old Lynchburg Road, roughly 10 miles south of where Graham was last seen in the early morning hours of Saturday Sept. 13.

The exact address has not been publicly confirmed, but it is believed to be about 3 miles away from a home where Matthew and his mother lived a few years ago.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct202014

Dozens Cleared from Ebola Monitoring as 21-Day Window Passes

iStock/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- The first group of people quarantined and monitored after close contact with Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan has been cleared, with the 21-day monitoring period passing for 48 people. Duncan’s relatives and fiancée Louise Troh are among those who faced monitoring because of Duncan’s diagnosis.

As officials continue to monitor dozens of others who came in contact with Duncan, the U.S. Department of Defense is assembling a 30-member medical support team made up of critical-care nurses, infectious disease doctors and disease protocol trainers. Those medical workers are able to offer short-term help should more Ebola cases arise.

Dallas County Administrator Clay Jenkins said the 21-day milestone was important.

“After 21 days of being on this watch list, there is zero chance that any of those young men or Louise carry the Ebola virus,” Jenkins said. “They need love and compassion and acceptance.”

Troh released a statement to ABC News Sunday expressing sadness in Duncan’s Oct. 8 death.

“We continue to mourn his loss and grieve the circumstances that led to his death, just at the time we thought we were facing a happy future together,” she said in the statement.

Duncan’s family also recognized nurses Nina Pham and Amber Vinson, who contracted Ebola while administering care to Duncan.

“Our hearts also go out to the two brave women who have been infected by this terrible disease as they were trying to help him,” the statement reads.

One of those nurses, Amber Vinson, is in stable condition at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, able to communicate with her parents. Her family released a statement to ABC News Sunday, stating that Vinson contacted health officials after Pham was diagnosed with Ebola, asking whether precautionary arrangements could be made for her return to Dallas.

“Amber was particularly concerned considering that Ms. Pham, being a capable nurse who followed the same Dallas county mandates, had become infected,” the statement reads. “Officials assured Amber that her concerns were unfounded because her temperatures were within the appropriate measures and asymptomatic in all other areas.”

Vinson asked whether she could reside at Texas Health Resources Presbyterian Hospital during her 21-day monitoring period, her family says.

“She was told that this was the first request of its kind, but that the agency would consider the option,” the statement reads.

One day after landing in Dallas on Oct. 13, Vinson reported a temperature of 100.3 degrees and admitted herself to the hospital.

Pham, the other nurse who contracted Ebola while treating Duncan, is listed in fair condition at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, fighting fatigue, doctors say.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on This Week Sunday, saying Pham remains in good spirits.

“We'd been with her now for three days,” he said. “I feel strongly that she's going to do well, but you never say never until I walk out of that building with her and talk to you about it.”

Meanwhile, the Carnival Magic cruise ship -- carrying a health care worker who handled Duncan’s specimens -- reached the port of Galveston in Texas. The worker had been self-quarantined on the ship and hadn’t shown signs of the deadly virus for 19 days, officials said.

One passenger on the ship, Chris Perry, said the experience reminded him of the AIDS scare in the late 1980s, "Where people were just fearful of anybody around it."

"Outside of that, you know, once everybody kind of started understanding, it wasn't that big of a deal," Perry said.

Passenger John Cascio said he was not too concerned.

"I really wasn't worried about it," Cascio said. "I knew they would take care of what's supposed to be taken care of."


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Monday
Oct202014

Closing Arguments to Begin in "Dexter" Murder Trial

iStock/Thinkstock(SALT LAKE CITY) -- Closing arguments and jury deliberations are scheduled for Tuesday in the case of a Utah man accused of shooting his wife to death after a night of drinking and watching the TV series Dexter, a show about a serial killer.

Conrad Truman, 32, described the moment of his wife's death in court Friday, telling a jury he was inside the house while his wife was taking a bath.

Truman said he suddenly heard a pop.

His wife Heidy Truman appeared naked in the hallway, bleeding and choking, he said. He says he attempted CPR.

"I was over her at first, and I was trying to communicate, and there was no communication," he told the court. "There was a lot of choking, like gasping for air, and I checked for a pulse and I just wanted to make sure she was going to stay breathing for when I went to grab the phone."

Truman was questioned about the exact episode of Dexter he was watching the night of the shooting, Sept. 30, 2012, but he testified that he didn't remember the details. He insists he didn't shoot his wife and that she must have accidentally shot herself or been hit by a bullet fired from outside the house.


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Earlier that evening, he says, he heard a disturbance outside, which he investigated with his dog and gun, but said he found nothing and didn't call police.

He also admitted to prosecutors that he had argued with his wife that night, but says it wasn't anything serious.

"We were just bickering back and forth, what dog – if we were to get a dog – what dog it would be," he said.

He appeared adamant when questioned Thursday about his innocence.

"Did you shoot your wife?" a defense attorney asked.

"No," he said.

"Did you kill your wife?"

"No."

Much of the trial has focused on Truman's demeanor the night of the shooting, including his incomprehensive speech in his 911 call and behavior around his wife's body.

"I was just confused," he said in court Thursday. "I didn't know what was going on."


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