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Crime Tag

Dylann Roof received the death penalty from a federal jury for murdering nine black people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC, in June 2015. It took the jury less than three hours to reach their verdict. Judge Richard Gergel will impose the sentence of Roof at 9:30AM on Wednesday. The jury recommended the death penalty on all 18 counts Roof faced that carried the sentence. Roof opened fire on the members of the church after they welcomed him into their circle with open arms and allowed him to sit next to the pastor. He hoped his crime would spark a race war.

Details continue to come out about the Fort Lauderdale airport shooter, Esteban Santiago, who appears to have had a history of mental health problems and was under psychiatric care. Slowly, information has also come out about the victims of that horrific attack, which killed five and wounded eight. While not all victim information has been released, it appears at least four couples have been separated by death. Two of the victims were an Ohio couple heading for their 51st wedding anniversary.
Tragedy struck an Ohio family when Shirley Timmons was slain and her husband critically injured during the airport attack. The couple had flown to Fort Lauderdale on Friday to join the rest of their family for a cruise, WILE-FM ( reported.

You probably have not heard the names Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. But I remember those names, and the tears that were brought to my eyes when I heard about what happened to them. On January 7, 2007, the young white couple—Channon was 21, her boyfriend Chris was 23—was abducted, beaten, raped, tortured, and murdered.  Chris eventually shot to death before being set on fire, and Channon left to die with a plastic bag over her head in a trash can.  The perpetrators were all black. If you have not heard their story, it's because the racial nature of that black-on-white crime was uncomfortable for the national media a decade ago. Even now, it's uncomfortable, as the delayed and reluctant coverage of the Chicago tortures showed. Here is their story.

The horrific series of crimes against a mentally disabled teenager and streamed live on Facebook has shocked and horrified many (but not all, apparently).   The four attackers who tortured and abused the teen appeared in court and were denied bail. The Chicago Tribune reports:
One day after a chilling live Facebook video made headlines, four suspects appeared in a packed Cook County courtroom Friday to face hate crime charges alleging they beat and tortured a mentally disabled teen in an attack that once again put the city's ugly violence problem on display.

Mary wrote yesterday about the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood international airport that killed five and wounded eight others.  Details are now being released about the shooter, Esteban Santiago, and it appears that he had a history of mental health problems and was under psychiatric care. The Broward County Sheriff's office has posted the following about the incident:
A lone gunman, Esteban Santiago, 26 (DOB 3/16/90), opened fire in the baggage claim area, killing five people and wounding eight others.

Authorities have reported five fatalities and ight injuries in a shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport. Officers arrested the lone suspect. TSA has stated that an active shooter remains at the airport, but no one has confirmed that yet.

That strict gun control in Chicago has obviously worked. America's third largest city had 762 homicides in 2016, the most in two decades and more than New York and Los Angeles combined. It also saw 3,500 shooting incidents, which is 1,100 more than it had in 2015. From WGN:
According to the Chicago Police Department, there were 762 murders in the city in 2016 and 3,550 shooting incidents with 4,331 shooting victims. A department spokesman says more than 80% of the fatal and non-fatal shooting victims were previously identified by police as being likely to be involved in an act of gun violence, either as a victim or an offender. Most of the murders occurred on the city's South and West Sides.

In the summer of 2014, Justin Ross Harris left his 22-month-old son Cooper in the car for seven hours as he went to work. Harris claimed he forgot to drop Cooper off at daycare, but prosecutors revealed he sexted with numerous women, including the day his son died. A grand jury indicted Harris in September 2014. On Tuesday, Cobb County Superior Court Judge Mary Staley Clark sentenced Harris to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

`Last week, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel granted Dylann Roof's request to represent himself at his trial for murdering nine black people at a church in Charleston, SC, in the summer of 2015. But now Roof wants his lawyers back during the guilt phase:
After a two-sentence formal motion filed by his advisory lawyers, Roof hand-penned a note to the federal judge overseeing his case. In block letters on lined notebook paper, he wrote: "I would like to ask if my lawyers can represent me for the guilt phase of the trial only. Can you let me have them back for the guilt phase, and then let me represent myself for the sentencing phase of the trial?"

On Monday, Ohio State University student Abdul Razak Ali Artan, 18, plowed his car into a crowd of people. He exited the car and stabbed bystanders, injuring eleven people, before a cop shot and killed him. Authorities have not found a specific motive, but they have started an investigation into Artan's social media posts. It appears he considered American-born Anwar al-Awlaki a hero:
"America! Stop interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah. We are not weak. We are not weak, remember that," Abdul Razak Ali Artan reportedly wrote on Facebook, using the Arabic term for the world's Muslim community.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel found Dylan Roof competent to stand trial for the murder of nine black people at a church in Charleston, S.C., last summer. Today, the judge has decided that Roof can represent himself in his trial:
Roof made the last-minute request as jury selection was set to begin this morning. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel cautioned Roof against serving as his own attorney, noting his defense team's considerable legal expertise, but ultimately granted the request. He noted that Roof has a constitutional right to represent himself.

Media outlets & Ohio State reported an active shooter on campus, but it turns out the suspect mainly used a knife and a car. NBC has released the name of the attacker: Those transported to the hospital had stab wounds:
Ohio State Police Chief Craig Stone said the attacker purposely drove over a curb and into pedestrians. "This was done on purpose," he said. Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs said police were looking into whether it was a terrorist attack.
One official said the man "was a 'legal permanent resident.'"

Donald Trump earned tremendous support from the law enforcement community by promising to stand up for its members. They need an advocate like Trump in the White House. Recent reports indicate that the number of police deaths has risen significantly since 2015. FOX News reported:
60 law enforcement officers fatally shot this year, 20 in ambushes, report says A total of 60 law enforcement officers have died in firearms-related incidents in 2016, marking a 67 percent increase since 2015, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reported.

Last summer, Dylann Roof opened fire at the historic Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, murdering nine black people during a meeting. The court started jury selection this month, but U.S. Distric Judge Richard Mark Gergel stopped the process when Roof and his defense team filed a motion "concerning the young man's competency to stand trial." A psychiatrist examined Roof and presented the findings to Judge Gergel, who released his decision today:
After carefully considering the record before the Court, the relevant legal standards, and the arguments of counsel, the Court now finds and concludes that the Defendant is competent to stand trial.

Chicago has achieved a unique distinction: the city has already had more murders this year than New York and Los Angeles combined. The Chicago Tribune reports: Chicago hit 500 homicides the other day, with more killings this year than in New York and Los Angeles combined. So...

Police have charged Oscar Morel, 35, with the murder of Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and his associate Thara Uddin, 64. Fox News reports:
Oscar Morel, 35, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon, police said. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney who could comment on the charges.