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Tom Joyner And Donna Richardson Divorce After 12 Years Of Marriage
Dec-21-2012 4170 0


According to the NY Daily News, after 12 years of marriage, radio host Tom Joyner and his wife, ESPN sports commentator Donna Richardson are officially divorced. The news outlet reported the two went their separate ways weeks ago in what was a “mutual but not exactly amicable” situation involving other parties, a source tells Confidential’s Marianne Garvey. However, it's been learned exclusively that the divorce was finalized back around April or May of this year.

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Philip Caulfield Sep-29-2014 212 0
A Los Angeles man was playing with a gun when he accidentally shot his best friend — and then, in a moment of intense grief, committed suicide in front of a crowd of their friends, authorities said.

Dominique Barnett, 24, was showing off his piece to around 10 friends hanging out in front of Jerrod Taylor's Willowbrook home early Sunday when the gun suddenly went off, striking Taylor with a single round, CBS Los Angeles reported.

Taylor, 23, would die later at a local hospital.

Overcome with guilt by what he'd done to his best friend, Barnett then shot himself in the head at the scene.

Police described the grim turn of events as an accident brought on by the collision of tragic luck and a loaded gun.

Witnesses said Taylor was upset Barnett was showing the gun off and was trying to take it away from him when it went off, CBS Los Angeles reported.

"Preliminary investigation is indicating that both the gunshot victims knew each other, and that they were friends, so there was no malicious intent at this point that we know of for the shooting to occur," L.A. Sheriff's Det. Steven Lankford told the station.

Those who knew them said the pair had been best friends since they were 11. Taylor had a child.

"Jerrod was a great kid," his cousin, Laretha Kelly, told KTLA-TV.

"He worked very hard. … He was just so willing to help people."

Antoine Barnett, Dominique's father, said he was sickened to receive a phone call early Sunday saying his son was dead.

"Being a father, getting that phone call in the morning is nothing easy," Barnett said.

He said he imagined his son was "distraught" by the accident and didn't see a way out of the situation.

"I wish he would have called me, there's not much more I could have done, but at least I (could have) talked to him," Barnett said, according to CBS Los Angeles. "I didn't even get the chance to say bye to him. "

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Sep-28-2014 243 0
A Florida school plagued with allegations of bullying which led to the on-campus suicide of a 14-year-old boy deliberately ignored and in some cases hid student discipline issues to boost its image, according to an anonymous letter allegedly written by a staff member.

In the eye-opening letter claiming to have been written by an employee of Greenwood Lakes Middle School, where Lamar Hawkins shot himself on Sept. 10, administrators are accused of trading student and teacher safety for funding.

"For many years now, referrals have been downgraded to minor offenses ... Some referrals would not be dealt with for weeks, until the teacher who wrote them would have forgotten about them," just one allegation packed in the letter reads.

Attorney Matt Morgan, who's representing Lamar's parents, revealed the letter this week after it was sent to him unsigned to allegedly protect the author's employment.
In addition to accusing administrators of eliminating In School Suspension for the last two years and banning the word "bully" from staff emails and referrals, the letter reads: "We had at least 10 fights on campus. Only 2 were reported. The other fights were downgraded to 'horseplay.'"

Reasons for blanketing such crucial issues at the school are blamed on it affecting their financial standing.

When the school dropped to a C-rated school during the 2013-14 school year, "the teachers were blamed for that," the letter accuses. "We were instructed to handle discipline in our classroom with more 'tolerance.' We needed to keep the students in our classes at all cost."

When they were stamped as a Title I school at that year's end, due to their percentage of low income students and having "no serious discipline problems," they were awarded with $200,000.

"I will let you draw the conclusions why last year admin wanted our number of referrals down," the anonymous author states.

Since Lamar's tragic death, his parents have said that they had reported their son being bullied to school officials "multiple times," but nothing was done.

A friend of Lamar's, 11-year-old Jordan Gonzalez, has also since come out saying he not only witnessed his friend being abused on a regular basis, but that he was bullied too.

In a disturbing letter later sent by Jordan to his mom, the boy said he too wants to die because of the non-stop abuse, his mom revealed.

Requests for comment from Greenwood Lake's principal and the Seminole County school district's Superintendent were not immediately returned to the Daily News Friday.

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Victoria Taylor Sep-28-2014 235 0
Fired UPS employee Walter Earl Morrison, 20, has been accused of stealing a valuable diamond from a UPS cargo plane and swapping the gem, which was valued at $160,000, for $20 worth of marijuana, according to KNXV.

Authorities said Morrison swiped the stone at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix and hid the package under his shirt.

He then supposedly traded the expensive rock for pot before he was caught.

A UPS spokesperson told KNXV that the diamond has been recovered and given to the intended recipient,

Morrison reportedly faces felony theft charges and is scheduled to appear in the Maricopa County Superior Court on Tuesday.

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Deborah Hastings Sep-28-2014 278 0
Georgia authorities went to a great deal of trouble to nab a woman who filed a state income tax return for a whopping $94 million.

State revenue agents actually cut a check for $94,323,148 and told Brigitte Jackson to come on down to a Cobb County bank inside a supermarket to cash it.
And when she arrived and tried to redeem the bogus document, the handcuffs came out, reported WSB-TV.

"It doesn't matter if it's $94 or $94 million," Special Investigations Chief Josh Waites told the station. "We're going to go after you and hold you accountable."

The woman had claimed $99 million in wages as the basis for the mammoth refund amount, authorities said.

She has been charged with theft and conspiracy to defraud the state.

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Eliott C. McLaughlin Sep-27-2014 218 0
It's rare that a defendant is put on trial knowing that whether he wins or loses, chances are he'll still spend his life in prison.

That's exactly the scenario Michael Dunn faces, as his second trial in the November 2012 killing of 17-year-old Jordan Davis approaches. Jury selection began Monday morning. The retrial will follow and is expected to last about two weeks.

Before jury selection began, Davis' parents, Ron Davis and Lucia McBath, were outside the Duval County Courthouse, along with Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed teen killed by a neighborhood watch captain earlier the same year.

"This trial speaks to me because I am that family," Fulton said. "The family that's missing a son. I'm the family that's a victim of senseless gun violence. That's the purpose of me coming here, that's just to stand with the family, to be with the family and to show the support."

About 40 people gathered demanding justice for Jordan Davis as well as other slain African-Americans, including Emmett Till, Rodney Mitchell and Karvas Gamble Jr. Protesters carried signs that said "Justice 4 Jordan" and "Is it OK to murder me because I like loud music?"
A pastor led the group in prayer before Davis' parents entered the courthouse. The gathering promptly dispersed, but not before McBath thanked the crowd for supporting her son.

"We just want to thank the country and thank you all for the wonderful support and prayers that you've given us these last two years. We could not do this without you. We're very grateful for every moment that we've been on your minds and your hearts," McBath said.

She added, "Whatever verdict we receive, we will be humble and abide by. But the verdict and the justice that we seek will always and will only come from God."

Defense attorney Waffa Hanania expressed concern to County Court Judge Russell Healey that the rally, which "appears to be sanctioned by Mr. Davis' family," could influence potential jurors.

Healey responded that there is "only so much I can control," but conceded that "it's not helpful to us getting a jury here in Jacksonville." He said that the court would determine what potential jurors heard and saw when they're questioned.

The first trial

Earlier this year, on what would've been Davis' 19th birthday, a Jacksonville, Florida, jury found Dunn guilty on four of five counts in the case.

While Dunn said he shot into a Dodge Durango full of teenagers in self-defense, he was convicted on three counts of second-degree attempted murder -- one each for firing at Davis' pals, Leland Brunson, Tommie Stornes and Tevin Thompson -- and one count of shooting into a vehicle.

The attempted murder convictions alone carry a cumulative minimum sentence of 60 years in prison for the 47-year-old Florida man.

Opinion: Why prosecutor is retrying 'loud music' murder case

The 12 jurors, however, deadlocked on the final and most serious charge: premeditated first-degree murder.

Dunn claimed that after a heated argument over loud music at a Jacksonville gas station, Davis threatened him and Dunn thought he saw Davis produce a gun or lead pipe.

Though Davis had a knife in his pocket, police recovered no weapons matching Dunn's description, and his fiancee, Rhonda Rouer, testified that Dunn never mentioned seeing a weapon.

Following the argument, Dunn pulled out a handgun and began firing. He continued firing even as Stornes, the driver, put the Durango in reverse and retreated, witnesses said.

Dunn fired 10 shots at the SUV. Three of those bullets hit Davis, one piercing his liver, lung and aorta.

'... they didn't call 911'

After the shooting, neither Dunn nor Rouer called police. They drove 40 miles to a bed and breakfast in St. Augustine, and once there, defense attorney Cory Strolla said, Dunn took his dog for a walk and Rouer ordered a pizza and movie.
"They had cell phones, but they didn't call 911. He didn't drive to a police substation," Assistant State Attorney John Guy said during the first trial. "That defendant put his head on his hotel pillow and went to sleep."

Asked why he never called police, Dunn said, "It makes sense that I should have (contacted authorities). We didn't. I can't tell you why."

In the morning, Rouer watched a news report about the shooting and the two then drove another 130 miles home to Satellite Beach where Dunn was apprehended.

What happened in the hours after the shooting may play a role in the new murder trial, as prosecutors must prove that Dunn planned to kill Davis. In the first trial, prosecutors alleged that Dunn's actions after the shooting were indicative of his intent, an assertion Dunn's defense attorney denied.

Davis' father, Ron Davis, was certainly struck by Dunn's actions after killing his son and expressed satisfaction in February that Dunn would face a lengthy prison bid.

"He is going to learn that he must be remorseful for the killing of my son, that it was not just another day at the office. My son will never be just another day at the office where (Dunn) can leave the scene and be stoic," he told reporters.

Awaiting sentencing

Dunn has not yet been sentenced on the original counts. In addition to the 60-year minimum he faces on the attempted murder charges, he could spend another 15 years in prison on the count of shooting into a vehicle.

While his new defense attorney, Hanania, hasn't been speaking to media, Strolla has said his client would appeal the original verdict.

That may explain why -- even though, pending appeals, Dunn could spend the rest of his life in prison -- prosecutors are preparing for another highly publicized trial on the murder charge.

To hear prosecutor Angela Corey tell it, it's about justice.

"Justice for Jordan Davis is as important as it is for any victim," she said after the first trial in February.

CNN legal analyst Paul Callan said he can see how some people might think it defies logic to try the case again, but from Davis' parents' perspective, it makes all the sense in the world.

"If he winds up with 60 or 75 years in jail, from a pragmatic standpoint it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to retry the case," Callan said after the first trial.

"On the other hand if you're the parents of Jordan Davis and you believe, as well you should, that your son's reputation has been besmirched by this self-defense claim, the family (might) want a retrial, and that's something that a prosecutor has to consider carefully."

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N.Hensley Sep-27-2014 273 0
A Georgia teacher has been jailed on sex charges for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old male student.

Victoria Tatum, 24, a math teacher at Covington’s Newton High School was arrested at the school Thursday when a complaint surfaced Tuesday and alleged the relationship, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Pennsylvania-native charged with two counts of child molestation, aggravated sodomy, enticing a child and sexual assault, jail records show.

It’s believe the alleged incidents with Tatum began less than a month ago, according to Newton County Sheriff’s Office.

Tatum was hired by Newton County School System in July, according to a Facebook page belonging to Tatum.

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Deborah Hastings Sep-27-2014 326 0
A Nebraska high school student who’d never been in trouble told his teachers he thought something bad was going to happen at his bus stop.

So he changed his route home, only to be ambushed after he stepped off the bus and began walking, witnesses said.

Minutes later, Johntavious Swift, 16, of Omaha, was cut down in a hail of bullets in what one witness described as “a perfect trap,” the Omaha World-Herald reported.
The teen’s great-grandmother said he “felt funny. He felt like something was gonna happen,” Shirley Jones told the paper.

A witness said up to 10 rounds were fired at the boy, who died Wednesday after he lay sprawled under a tree next to his backpack.

Swift’s father, Tchalla Renfrow Sr., said his son was friendly and focused on his family.

“I’ll miss his smile, conversations. He called me every other day,” the dad said.

More than 60 people gathered at the site where Swift died to mourn his passing.

“They timed it just right,” said a witness ,who asked that her name not be used. “They had to have known what time he would be getting off” the bus, she told the newspaper.

She said a car pulled up alongside Swift as he was walking. The front seat passenger stepped outside with a gun.

Swift began running, she said, and the gunman fired up 10 times.

The incident was one of four shootings in northeast Omaha on Wednesday.

Police are still investigating. It was not clear why the boy thought something might go wrong on Wednesday.

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Sep-26-2014 216 0
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Bar Association (NBA), the nation’s largest organization of African American lawyers, judges, law students and legal professionals is calling upon the National Football League (NFL) and Commissioner Roger Goodell to reconsider the make-up of the league’s domestic abuse panel which was established to develop a new conduct and anti-domestic abuse and violence policies for the NFL.

In the wake of several occurrences of domestic abuse by players, the NFL has formed a four-member panel, but the panel does not include any men or women of color, although over 60% of the NFL players are black.

“Domestic abuse and violence is a pervasive problem in American society,” NBA President Pamela Meanes said. “And it’s a problem that crosses racial and gender lines. The perpetrators and the victims come from every race, every socio-economic class, all ages and certainly are not all of one gender and/or race. Accordingly, it’s only fitting those members of the panel tasked with dealing with the NFL’s domestic violence issues be truly diverse and represent a cross section of our nation.”

President Meanes added that Commissioner Goodell’s own words on the domestic abuse and violence issue support the NBA’s call for diversity on the NFL committee. Commissioner Goodell himself called the NFL ‘… a microcosm of society …’ and he was right; the NFL has many of the same problems as the U.S.,” said President Meanes. “So it’s the National Bar Association’s firm belief that the NFL’s panel should also be a microcosm of society and should include as diverse a membership as possible. It is absolutely crucial that the NFL serve as an example of how people from across the spectrum can work together to address our nation’s largest and most pressing issues. And without question, two of those issues are domestic abuse and violence and a diversified workplace.”

According to the National Coalition against Domestic Violence, one in four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime, 1.3 million women are victims of domestic assaults each year, and 85% of domestic violence victims are women.

“As the NFL has shown us all this year, domestic violence is much more common than we often realize,” President Meanes added. “And even more disturbing, it’s a fact that most cases of domestic violence and abuse go unreported. And this is true among people of all ethnicities. So it is appropriate that the NFL’s committee represents people of all ethnicities; it is crucial that the NFL brings together an inclusive group to address this problem. We respectfully request that the NFL bring racial diversity, and the valuable perspectives it will offer, to this extremely important panel.”
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ABOUT THE NATIONAL BAR ASSOCIATION
The National Bar Association was founded in 1925 and is the nation's oldest and largest national network of predominantly African-American attorneys and judges. It represents the interests of approximately 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students.The NBA is organized around 23 substantive law sections, 9 divisions, 12 regions and 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. For more information, visit: www.nationalbar.org

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AP Sep-26-2014 226 0
Police and protesters clashed briefly in Ferguson just hours after the St. Louis suburb's police chief issued an apology to the family of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old who was fatally shot by a white police officer last month.

"All those things that are causing mistrust are being evaluated and we are going to be making changes," Jackson said.

The police chief started to march with protesters around 11 p.m. Soon after, a scuffle broke out about 20 feet behind the chief and one protester was arrested. The Post-Dispatch said at least three other protesters were arrested after another confrontation.

The Ferguson Police Department spokesman didn't immediately return call to The Associated Press early Friday.

Earlier Thursday, Jackson released a video apology to Brown's family and the community in which he acknowledged that Brown's body should have been removed from the street much sooner after he was killed. Brown's body remained on Canfield Drive, a residential street, for more than four hours while police collected evidence.

"It was just too long and I'm truly sorry for that," Jackson, dressed casually in a red polo shirt instead of his police uniform, said on the video. "Please know that the investigating officers meant no disrespect to the Brown family, to the African-American community or the people of Canfield (Drive). They were simply trying to do their jobs."

To the Brown family, Jackson said: "I'm truly sorry for the loss of your son."

Brown's parents declined comment when told about Jackson's video during a news conference with civil rights leaders at the National Press Club. Their attorney later said they hadn't heard about the video but would review it.

Brown was unarmed when he was fatally shot Aug. 9 during a confrontation with Officer Darren Wilson. The shooting sparked numerous protests and racial unrest in the predominantly black community. Some residents and civil rights activists have said responding police officers were overly aggressive, noting their use of tear gas and military-style vehicles and gear.

"It is clear that we have much work to do," Jackson said in the video.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the Ferguson Police Department for possible civil rights violations.

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