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Wednesday
Aug212013

School Bus Overturns, Sending 15 to Hospital

Katrina Wittkamp/Getty Images(BONNER SPRINGS, Kan.) -- A school bus carrying 36 sixth-grade girls for a camping trip overturned near Kansas City, Mo., sending several students to the hospital with minor injuries, authorities said.

"Fortunately, there were only minor injuries. All of the students seem to be OK," said Technical Trooper Howard Dickinson, a spokesman for the Kansas State Police.

Fifteen of the students were taken to area hospitals to be checked for head and neck injuries "just to be safe," Dickinson said.

The bus was carrying students from Pembroke Fields School in Kansas City, Mo., several miles across the state border to Tall Oaks Conference Center in Linwood, Kan.

Photos of the initial scene painted a harrowing picture, with a bus turned over on its side in a ditch along a ramp connecting Kansas Highways 7 and 32 in Bonner Springs, Kan., and multiple ambulances treating children, some placed on stretchers.

"The bus came around a corner and dropped a rear wheel off the roadway. It swung around and turned over in a ditch," Dickinson said.

The driver was being treated for injuries at the scene. He did not appear impaired but an investigation is ongoing.

Another bus carrying male students was not involved in the accident. Parents were instructed to pick their children up at Bonner Springs High School.

School buses remain one of the safest modes of transportation. Earlier this month, the National Transportation Safety Board reported "less than 1 percent of traffic deaths involving school-aged children involves school buses."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug212013

Bradley Manning Sentenced to 35 Years for Leaking Secrets

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(FT. MEADE, Md.) -- Bradley Manning, the Army private convicted of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified documents to the website WikiLeaks, was sentenced to 35 years in a military prison Wednesday.

Manning, 25, a former Army intelligence analyst, was convicted July 30.

He was found guilty of 20 of the 22 charges he faced, mostly for espionage, theft and fraud. But a judge found him not guilty of the most serious charge of aiding the enemy, which carries a life sentence.

The 20 charges originally carried the possibility of 136 years in prison, but Judge Col. Denise Lind later granted a defense motion that reduced the potential maximum sentence to 90 years.

At the end of the sentencing phase of the trial, Army prosecutors said Manning should serve at least 60 years in prison. But Manning's defense attorney argued that he should not serve more than 25 years.

In his closing arguments during the two-week sentencing phase, Manning's defense attorney, David Coombs, continued to portray Manning as a naïve young soldier who believed he could change the world.

Coombs said Manning had "pure intentions" in releasing the documents to WikiLeaks. "At that time, Pfc. Manning really, truly, genuinely believed that this information could make a difference."

But in court documents released earlier this week that explained her verdicts, Lind said Manning's conduct "was both wanton and reckless." She added that it "was of a heedless nature that made it actually and imminently dangerous to others."

Manning last week apologized for his actions in a short statement he read during the trial's sentencing phase. "I'm sorry that my actions hurt people," Manning said. "I'm sorry that they hurt the United States. "When I made these decisions, I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people."

He said he was sorry for the "unintended consequences" of his actions and offered that with hindsight, "I should have worked more aggressively inside the system."

Although he acknowledged that "I must pay a price for my decisions and actions" he also expressed the hope to "return to a productive place in society."

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, said Manning's apology was a "forced decision" aimed at reducing his potential jail sentence. In a statement, he said the apology had been "extorted from him under the overbearing weight of the United States military justice system."

The court-martial began three years after Manning was first detained in Iraq for suspicion of having leaked the video of a 2007 Apache helicopter attack that killed several Iraqi civilians. He was subsequently charged with the leak of 750,000 documents that were a mix of U.S. military battlefield reports from Iraq and Afghanistan and diplomatic cables.

The release of the documents has been described as the most extensive leak of classified information in U.S. history.

During the nearly two-month court martial, prosecutors presented detailed computer forensics of Manning's computer activity during his deployment to Iraq in late-2009 to mid-2010. They said the evidence showed that within weeks of his arrival in Baghdad, Manning had begun searching classified military computer networks for materials that were of interest to WikiLeaks.

In their unsuccessful bid to show that Manning had aided the enemy, they said some of the battlefield reports were found on computers belonging to Osama bin Laden. The computers had been seized during the U.S. military raid that killed the al Qaeda leader.

Manning's initial detention at the Marine brig at Quantico, Va., became the subject of controversy after jailers deemed him a suicide risk.

Now being held at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., Manning was forced to remain in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day and on a few occasions he was required to remain naked. His attorneys said the treatment merited dismissing the case against him because it amounted to cruel-and-unlawful punishment.

After a lengthy pre-trial hearing late last year, judge Lind found there was validity to some of the allegations and reduced any potential prison sentence by 112 days.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug212013

Young British Tourist Struck by NYC Taxi Now to Get More of Leg Amputated

Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The 23-year-old British tourist whose foot was severed when a New York City taxi swerved onto a curb will now require further amputation of her leg, her father said in a statement Wednesday from his home in Leicester, England.

Sian Green and her best friend Keisha Warren were sitting on the ledge of a fountain eating hot dogs at Rockefeller Plaza Tuesday when a 24-year-old taxi driver hit the curb, causing Green to fly up in the air and land with her left foot severed and the other injured.  A plumber who witnessed the accident rushed to her aid, followed by famous TV personality Dr. Oz, who tended to Green until emergency rescuers whisked her to the Bellevue Medical Center for surgery.

A distraught Warren, unharmed by the taxi, stayed behind, unable to join her close friend in the ambulance.

Green’s father, Jason Green, said the family was planning to fly to New York to be with Sian, according to the U.K.’s  Telegraph. Green’s boyfriend, who she recently moved in with, is also arranging a cross-Atlantic trip to the Big Apple.

“Her friend Keshia is still in shock. We are a really close family we are all devastated by what has happened. We don’t know what to say. …  We just want to be at our daughter’s side right now,” Jason Green said.

The two best friends, who sport matching “les amis” tattoos on their arms, had been anticipating their trip to New York for months.  On July 14, Green uploaded a photo on Instagram showing a clock with a New York City backdrop counting down the days to her arrival.  Beneath the photo was the note "New York plzzzzz hurry up! #newyork #excited #August #lovinglife, according to the New York Daily News.

According to Green’s Facebook page, she had her sights on a career in fashion and had been working as a fashion-buyer trainee at Hugo Boss while attending De Montfort University in England.

The taxi driver, meanwhile, received a summons for being the unauthorized driver of the vehicle but so far faces no additional charges, police said.  Reports show that he’d had seven traffic violations in the past three years.

Police say Green is now in stable condition.

ABC News reached out to Bellevue hospital and the Green family for comment, but neither responded.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug212013

James DiMaggio's Family Wants Paternity Test

KGTV(SAN DIEGO) -- James DiMaggio's family wants paternity tests to determine whether the murder and kidnapping suspect, who was shot dead by FBI agents, is the father of Hannah Anderson and her slain 8-year-old brother.

DiMaggio, 40, was such a close friend to the Anderson family that he bypassed his sister and instead named the paternal grandmother of Anderson and her brother, Ethan, as the beneficiary of his life insurance policy.

Andrew Spanswick, a spokesman for DiMaggio's family, said they are not contesting the $112,000 left to Bernice Anderson, however he did tell ABC News' San Diego affiliate KGTV they are hoping to get a DNA sample from Hannah and "anything they can get" from her brother Ethan, whose body was charred beyond recognition in a house fire.

"There are rumors Jim was the children's real father. The parents didn't marry until 2002. We think it's strange he left them so much money with no explanation," Spanswick said.

DiMaggio is suspected of killing Ethan Anderson and his mother, Christina Anderson, 44, at his Boulevard, Calif., home on Aug. 4. Authorities said he used two incendiary devices to set the home and garage on fire and left the bodies to burn as he fled with Hannah Anderson as his captive.

The search for DiMaggio and Anderson sparked a six-day manhunt that crossed state lines and ended dramatically on Aug. 10 in the Idaho wilderness.

As FBI agents raided DiMaggio's camp, he fired at them, prompting authorities to shoot and kill him, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said.

Anderson was rescued safely. However, it wasn't until after her interview that an FBI forensics interviewer broke the news to her that her mother and brother had been killed, Gore said.

Shortly after Brett Anderson, the teen's father, made a public plea for privacy, Hannah began fielding questions about her ordeal on the social media site ask.fm. She later disabled her account; however, a source briefed on Anderson's case confirmed to ABC News that the posts made on the site were from Anderson but could not confirm any of the information she had shared.

Authorities have said DiMaggio may have had an infatuation with Anderson, and she wrote that she had been uncomfortable around him in the past but had not said anything because he was a family friend.

"He said it was more like a family crush, like he had feelings as in he wanted nothing bad to happen to me," she wrote.

Last Thursday, Anderson stepped out for the first time since her rescue to attend a fundraiser to benefit her recovery and to pay for the funerals of her mother and brother.

A public memorial service for Christina and Ethan Anderson is scheduled for this Saturday at the Guardian Angel Roman Catholic Church in Santee, Calif.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug212013

‘Bored’ Indiana Teen Allegedly Killed Kittens, Posted Images

Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images(LAKE COUNTY, Ind.) -- An Indiana teenager has been charged with animal cruelty after he allegedly hunted and killed three kittens with bows and arrows and posted photographs of their mutilated bodies on Facebook, Indiana police say.

The 17-year-old boy told investigators he hunted the kittens because he was bored one day and saw several kittens in the alley behind his house in Lake County, Ind.

“He said he was bored out of his mind so he decided to hunt cats,” Det. Michelle Dvorscak of the Lake County Sheriff’s office, who investigated the case, told ABC News. “There was one walking in the alley and that’s what gave him the idea.”

The boy’s name has not been released because he is being charged as a juvenile.

The boy speared one kitten through the head and disemboweled the other one, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s office. After he finished his “hunt,” he put the photographs on his Facebook page. The photos included pictures of his pretending to eat the kittens, and were so gruesome that Facebook ultimately removed them, Dvorscak said.

“The photos are disturbing and psychotic,” Dvorscak said. “I have never encountered someone so proud of the fact that they decided to post it on their Facebook page.”

Because juvenile records are protected in Indiana, Dvorscak did not know whether the boy has a criminal history. She has turned the case over to the juvenile prosecutor’s office, which will decide whether to issue an arrest warrant.

The Lake County Juvenile Court declined to comment.

The sheriff’s office was alerted to the kitten hunting by the Lake County Animal Adoption and Control Center, which received an anonymous tip from someone who had seen the photographs on Facebook.

“We get calls regularly but not this extent,” said Jennelle Melendy, an adoption agent with the control center.  “I’ve never seen a murder of an animal.”

The kittens were about 8 weeks old,  Det. Dvorscak said.

“They were very cute, not with arrows through them,” she said, “but I’m sure they were before he killed them.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug212013

Ft. Hood Shooter Rests His Case in Seconds

Bell County Sheriff's Office via Getty Images(KILLEEN, Texas) -- The army psychologist on trial for killing 13 people in a 2009 shooting rampage rested his case Wednesday in a matter of seconds, calling no witnesses and putting on no defense.

Prosecutors on Tuesday wrapped a weeks-long case against Maj. Nidal Hasan, calling many of the 30 people whom he wounded in a shooting spree at Ft. Hood in Texas.

Hasan, who is acting as his own lawyer and is on trial for his life, has never denied entering the Soldier Readiness Processing Center, a busy building where unarmed soldiers were getting ready for upcoming deployments to Afghanistan, and shouting "Allahu akbar," Arabic for "God is great," before opening fire.

When asked by judge Col. Tara Osborn how he wished to proceed, Hasan simply answered: "the defense rests."

"You have the absolute right to remain silent," Osborn told him. "You do not have to say anything. You have the right to testify if you choose. Understand?" Hasan confirmed that he did.

At the start of the trial, which took the government four years and millions of dollars, many believed Hasan would put on a spirited defense, cross-examining many of the witnesses he has confessed to shooting.

Since the beginning of the trial, however, Hasan has said virtually nothing. He made a brief opening statement in which he confessed to the shootings and called himself a mujahedeen, or Muslim holy warrior.

"We mujahedeen are imperfect soldiers trying to form a perfect religion. I apologize for any mistakes I made in this endeavor," he said, adding that he "switched sides" in the war.

In the first days of the trial when it became clear Hasan did not plan to question witnesses or make objections, his standby lawyers, appointed to advise him, told the judge they believed he was cooperating with the prosecution to hasten his execution and was not therefore receiving a fair trial.

After Hasan quickly rested his case Wednesday morning, the prosecution asked for the rest of the day to prepare its closing arguments and the judge recessed the court.

The government would not allow Hasan to plead guilty because he would then be ineligible for the death penalty.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug212013

Scuba Diver Caught Swimming Marijuana into US

US Border Patrol(MARINE CITY, Mich.) -- United States Border Patrol arrested a man this week for his alleged effort to smuggle eight pounds of marijuana into the country.  

The Canadian scuba diver was caught near Marine City, Mich., after crossing St. Clair River.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection says the incident occurred Monday at 1 a.m., when a citizen called Saint Clair County Police to report an individual swimming across the river. Camera operators were able to remotely locate the man in the river and reported that “the subject appeared to be pulling a ‘dry bag’” typically used by divers.

The Canadian swam between half a mile and 3/4 of a mile before coming ashore near Marine City, says Border Patrol Agent Jeoff Ramer.

“It’s quite the swim,” Ramer said. “We’ve had people bring marijuana across in other ways, boats and the like. But I’d never heard of a scuba diver trying before this.”

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agents who apprehended the swimmer found him carrying “a large watertight PVC cylinder holding over 8 lbs of marijuana.” That’s about 128 ounces.

The 2008 Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, the only Michigan law to condone any pot use, states that patients may only possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana at any given time.

The unnamed swimmer is in the custody of St. Clair County Drug Task Force. Ramer says he will be charged Wednesday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug212013

Survey Reveals Weirdest Items Left Behind on a Plane

Buena Vista Images via Getty(NEW YORK) -- What's the last thing you left on a plane? Leaving behind something you really care about, like your glass eye or pet parrot, can be a major bummer.

Yes, those are just a couple of the strange items left behind by airplane passengers, according to a new survey of 700 cabin crew members across 83 countries by travel web site Skyscanner.com.

Someone left her wedding dress behind. And along those same lines, one crew member found a written marriage proposal. There was the box of dried fish one passenger left behind. And there was the bag of diamonds. Then there was underwear. Yes, underwear.

And what about those smaller, less bizarre items? Almost a quarter of the crew surveyed have found a lost passport, which is even higher than the number of phones (23 percent) and books (21 percent) left behind.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug212013

Brother of Suspected Ga. Gunman Felt He Would 'Do Something Stupid'

Courtesy Henry County Sheriff's Office | WSBTV/ABC News(DECATUR, Ga.) -- The man who allegedly exchanged gunfire with officers inside an Atlanta-area elementary school has a "long history of medical disorders," according to his brother, who said suspect Michael Hill was bound to "do something stupid."

"I honestly can tell you he has got a long history of medical disorders, including bipolar, and that could make you snap on a dime," Timothy Hill told ABC News.  "My moms almost looked like a drugstore at one point.  There was so many different medications he was on."

Police said Michael Hill, 20, will face charges including aggravated assault on a police officer, terroristic threats and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Timothy Hill, 22, said he's not close to his brother and thinks he last saw him in January 2011.  Timothy did not disclose his brother's complete mental health history but said he was taking drugs for treating attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder as early as age 6.

Timothy said his brother had once threatened to kill him.

"I had a feeling he was going to eventually, one day, do something stupid, but not of this magnitude," Timothy said.

Michael, the lone suspect, allegedly entered Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Decatur, Ga., on Tuesday, carrying an AK-47 assault rifle and other weapons, Chief Cedric Alexander of the DeKalb Police said.

No one was injured and Michael did not make it past the main office inside the school, police said.

In the office, Michael came face-to-face with Antoinette Tuff, the school's bookkeeper, who said she was the one who eventually convinced him to empty his pockets and backpack of ammunition and to get down on the floor so police could apprehend him.

Michael, according to Tuff, said he had no reason to live because nobody loved him.

"And I just explained to him that I loved him," Tuff told ABC News in an exclusive interview Tuesday night.  "I didn't know much about him.  I didn't know his name but I did love him and it was scary because I knew at that moment he was ready to take my life along with his, and if I didn't say the right thing, then we all would be dead."

A man with the same name and age was arrested five months ago in McDonough, Ga., according to online records and court records.  He entered a negotiated plea on July 16 and was sentenced to three years' probation and anger management.

During the standoff, Tuff said the suspected gunman "went outside several times and shot at police officers."

He also allegedly ordered staffers to call a local television channel, ABC affiliate WSB-TV, to request that a camera crew record him "killing police," WSB reported.

"He said that he didn't have any reason to live and that he was going to die today," Tuff said.  "He was going to end his life and take all of the cops and everybody with him."

Tuff said she tried to keep the assailant calm by asking him his name but, she said, at first he wouldn't tell it to her.  Then, he began listening to her tell her life story.  She said she told him about how her marriage fell apart after 33 years and the "roller coaster" of opening her own business.

"I knew at that time it was bigger than me," she said.  "He was really a hurting young man, so I just started praying for him.  And just started talking to him and allowing him to know everything that was going on with me and that everything was going to be OK."

During the standoff, Michael  called someone on the phone and Tuff said she heard the person crying.  Tuff offered to talk to the person over the phone, but Michael said, "'No, it is already over with, I already started shooting, there's nothing you can do.'"

Then, Tuff made the request that she said helped end the standoff.  She asked the suspect to put his weapons down, empty his pockets and backpack and lie on the floor.

"He brought a gun bag, a book bag, a bag full of ammunitions in there, a bunch of magazine clips in there, a whole lot of stuff," she said.

Police, including U.S. Marshals, entered the school and found the suspect in the office.  He allegedly exchanged fire with the officers but ultimately surrendered, Alexander told reporters.

"Once we found out where he was located inside the school we actually gained entry through a side building in the school and luckily we had an officer who was familiar with the layout of the school and made it directly to the office where Antoinette had the man already on the ground so we could apprehend him and take him into custody," Dekalb County Police Det. Clay Hobbs said Wednesday on ABC's Good Morning America.

SWAT teams were sent classroom to classroom to evacuate students, some as young as pre-kindergarten.  Authorities have yet to establish a motive or determine whether the suspect had a link to the school.

Authorities believe the man might have entered the school by closely following a person authorized to enter the building.  But once inside, he only went as far as the front office.

The shooting came on the second week of classes at the charter school. Classes for the elementary students will be held at McNair High School on Wednesday.  Tuff said she will be returning to work later Wednesday morning.

"Yes, I will be back," she said, "sitting in that same seat, blessing that next person."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug212013

Missouri Man Charged with Kidnapping as Search Resumes for Girl

ABC News(GOLDEN CITY, Mo.) -- A Missouri man has been charged with kidnapping a 12-year-old girl who authorities and hundreds of volunteers are still actively searching for.

Bobby Bourne Jr., 34, of Lamar, Mo., was charged with kidnapping Tuesday in the disappearance of Adriaunna Horton, who was last seen Monday afternoon getting into a vehicle around 5 p.m. in Golden City, Mo.

Adriaunna's father, James Horton, told ABC News affiliate KODE-TV that the suspect is known to his family.

"He worked for me last summer on a job, a construction job.  He was a neighbor.  He lived less than a block behind us for a year," Horton said.

On Tuesday, searchers used horses, all-terrain vehicles, dogs and a patrol helicopter to scour the small town. The search is expected to continue on Wednesday.

Adriaunna is described as 4-feet-5-inches tall and 70 pounds.  She has short brown hair, brown eyes and a fair complexion.

"We are going to exhaust every lead that comes in," said Troop D Public Information Officer Sgt. Jason Pace of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Adriaunna was wearing a pink T-shirt with hearts on it when she disappeared at Hazel Park about a half a block away from her home.  She was at the park with her sister and friends celebrating the end of her first day of the new school year.  That's when witnesses reported seeing Adriaunna get into an SUV.

James said the driver of the SUV was asking children at the park for help.

"He was whining he couldn't find his daughter.  He had a missing child. He asked the girls in the park to help him," James said.  "My oldest daughter walked up to his vehicle -- that's when she was abducted."

Police say they stopped a similar vehicle 90 minutes later and arrested Bourne, who was driving alone.

Bourne is being held in the Barton County jail on a $1 million bond. He has not yet entered a plea.

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