The lawyers for accused Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz say he plans to plead guilty to the 2018 massacre at a Parkland high school. The guilty plea would set up a penalty phase where the 23-year-old Cruz would be fighting against the death penalty and hoping for life without parole. The lawyers on Friday said the guilty pleas will be entered next week. A jury will decide whether Cruz will get the death penalty, but that trial has not been scheduled. The news brings some closure to a South Florida community more than three years after an attack that sparked the nationwide March for Our Lives movement for gun control.
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British Conservative lawmaker David Amess has died after being stabbed Friday during a meeting with constituents at a church in eastern England. A 25-year-old man has been arrested. The Essex Police force said officers were called to reports of a stabbing in Leigh-on-Sea just after noon Friday. It said “a man was arrested and a knife recovered. “We are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident." The force said later that a man injured in the stabbing had died. It did not release his name. The suspect is being being held on suspicion of murder, police said.
An Iowa man has been arrested in a fatal crash that happened in August and was instigated, police say, by a display of road rage. The Polk County Sheriff's Office says in a news release that 32-year-old Steven Elmer Clark, of Indianola, was arrested Tuesday after he turned himself in on counts of vehicular homicide by driving recklessly and vehicular homicide by drag racing, Investigators say Clark and another man, 53-year-old John Schmidt, of Pleasantville, were drag racing Aug. 26 at speeds of over 100 mph on U.S. Highway 65 in Polk County when Schmidt swerved toward Clark's truck. Investigators say Schmidt then lost control, crossed the highway’s median and was hit by two vehicles in the northbound lanes. Schmidt died at the scene.
Police in central Florida have arrested the 22-year-old father of a toddler who fatally shot his mother while she was on a Zoom call for work. Police say the 2-year-old found a loaded handgun in his “Paw Patrol” backpack. Veondre Avery was arrested Tuesday and charged with negligent manslaughter and unsafe storage of a firearm. Altamonte Springs police say the little boy fired a single shot on Aug. 11 that hit his mother, Shamaya Lynn, in the head. A co-worker on the Zoom call and Avery both dialed 911 for help. The Seminole County State Attorney’s Office said Avery is being held without bond.
An Iowa woman faces criminal charges after a baby girl who had been in her care died and was found to have illicit drugs in her system. Television station KCCI reports that Des Moines police arrested 40-year-old Nicole Ghee on suspicion of child endangerment and drug possession in the April death of a 2-month-old girl. Investigators say an autopsy showed the baby had methamphetamine in her system. Ghee is scheduled to appear in court on the charges on Oct. 20.
An Iowa man has been convicted in the 2003 sexual assaults of two teenagers after he was linked to the crime through a re-examination of old laboratory evidence. The U.S. attorney’s office announced Friday in a news release that 43-year-old Myron Lee Brandon, of Pacific Junction, Iowa, was found guilty this week of two counts of kidnapping and two counts of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. The release said that Brandon met the 14- and 15-year-old girls in downtown Omaha, Nebraska, and drove them to a rural road outside Pacific Junction, where he burned them with a cigarette and sexually assaulted them at knifepoint. He was identified as a suspect through a Sex Assault Kit Initiative program.
A jury has convicted a man first-degree murder for the fatal shooting of another man last year in Marshalltown. Mustafa Muhammad was convicted Wednesday of the murder count, as well as a count of reckless use of a firearm, for the March 2020 death of 27-year-old Blake Thomas. Police said a 37-year-old woman also suffered a minor injury in the shooting. The 31-year-old Muhammad has claimed the shooting was in self-defense. He faces a mandatory life term in prison when he's sentenced next month.
A Dallas-area school district says law enforcement is responding to reports of an “active shooter situation” at a high school. The Mansfield Independent School District says Timberview High School was on lockdown Wednesday morning. The school is in Arlington, which is part of the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area. The district said in a statement that students and staff were locked in the classrooms or offices. An Arlington Police Department spokeswoman said officers responded to a shooting at the school, but she couldn't confirm whether there were any injuries. The reports come just days after a shooting at a Houston charter school that injured an administrator.
A Davenport man has been convicted of first-degree murder in the 2019 shooting death of his ex-girlfriend's unarmed boyfriend during an early-morning confrontation at a Cedar Rapids convenience store. The Gazette reports that a judge on Wednesday found 26-year-old Todd Ricky Jenkins guilty of the murder count and going armed with intent in the killing of 27-year-old Reginald Ward, of Moline, Illinois. Police say Jenkins drove from Davenport to Cedar Rapids on Oct. 30, 2019, to confront Ward, and the two men began arguing outside a convenience story near the girlfriend’s apartment. Jenkins had argued that he shot Ward in self-defense.