(Salt Lake City, UT-AP) — Authorities say the missing University of Utah student MacKenzie Lueck has been killed. Today, Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said suspect Ayoola Ajayi is charged with murder and kidnapping.
On June 17th, Lueck went missing after a Lyft driver dropped her off at a park in North Salt Lake in the middle of the night. Police say neighbors of the charged man told them he was seen burning “something” on June 17th and 18th.
Investigators conducted a search of Ajayi’s property on Wednesday, where they say they found charred personal items and “female human tissue” in the backyard. That DNA tissue matched a DNA profile of Lueck.
(Chicago, IL-AP) — Former Vice President Joe Biden is defending his civil rights work. Speaking at a Rainbow PUSH Coalition convention in Chicago today, Biden insisted that he has made a lifetime commitment to civil rights.
He said he has fought his heart out to ensure that equal rights, civil rights and voting rights are “enforced everywhere.” Biden insisted that he never opposed busing.
Biden’s civil rights record was challenged by California Senator Kamala Harris at last night’s Democratic presidential debate in Miami.
(Charlottesville, VA-AP) — The man convicted in a deadly car attack at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia will spend the rest of his life in prison. James Alex Fields Junior was handed down a life sentence today.
He pleaded guilty to nearly 30 federal hate crimes earlier this year for the 2017 crash at the Unite the Right rally.
Fields plowed into a crowd of counter-protestors during the white nationalist rally, killing one person and injuring more than two dozen others. Fields is already serving a life term after being sentenced in Virginia state court.
(Chicago, IL-AP) — Newly-released police body-cam footage of Jussie Smollett shows the actor with an alleged noose around his neck. Chicago police have released around 70 hours of video footage and hundreds of files from the investigation into Smollett’s alleged attack earlier this year.
Some of the video shows him with a white rope looped around his neck, which he said his alleged attackers had placed on him. He can also be heard telling officers he had bleach poured on him, and asking them not to film him. Smollett was indicted on multiple felony accounts for allegedly staging the attack, but the charges were later dropped.
A special prosecutor will now be investigating the handling of the case, which could result in new charges against the actor.
(Chicago, IL-AP) — The owners of a Chicago restaurant are responding to reports that an employee spit on President Trump’s son, Eric. Alinea Group, which owns the Aviary cocktail bar, confirmed the “unfortunate incident” in a statement. It said “no customer should ever be spit upon.”
The employee has been placed on leave while the company’s HR team investigates the incident. The company also spoke out against the online discussion of the incident, which has included people praising the spitter and others calling for the demise of the restaurant or threatening employees.
The company said it hopes that the incident can “serve to illuminate the current absurdity of the discourse in our politics.”
(Miami, FL-AP) –– The first Democratic debate of the 2020 election season is in the books. Ten candidates took stage Wednesday night and ten others will tangle tomorrow night. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren had the center stage position, based on a complex system of polling and fundraising. She got the first question of the night — the state of the U.S. economy. Warren said the U.S. is doing great for those “at the top” but not so great for average Americans. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar argued that community college should be free. Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker agreed that the U.S. economy needs to work for everyone.
On the topic of healthcare, only New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren raised their hands when asked if they would advocate abandoning private healthcare for a government-run system. Warren said healthcare is a basic human right worth fighting for. Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke said Democrats must focus on providing quality, affordable healthcare. De blasio argued that private insurance is not working for tens of millions of Americans.
The subject of Iran drew some strong opinions. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar accused President Trump of making the U.S. less safe than it was before he took office. She said Trump is “one tweet away from going to war” with Iran. Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said Trump and his “chicken-hawk” advisers have the U.S. on the brink of war with Iran. She said there are better ways to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.
All the candidates were united when it came to slamming the Trump administration’s immigration policies. Former Housing Secretary Julian Castro said pictures of a dead migrant father and daughter should “piss us all off.” They drowned trying to cross the Rio Grande after seeking asylum. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker said the Trump immigration policies are promoting fear in communities across the U.S., not just along the border. Washington state Governor Jay Inslee said there is no reason for the separation of migrant children from their families. Many of the candidates spoke in Spanish during this topic.
Speaking of the President, he seemed somewhat subdued in his live tweets during the debate. First, in a one-word post, he said he found the debate “boring.” But when moderators Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow were forced to toss to a commercial break due to audio issues, Trump immediately weighed in. Trump tweeted the networks should be ashamed of themselves for having such a horrible technical breakdown in the middle of the debate. Trump then added, it is “truly unprofessional and only worth of a FAKE NEWS Organization, which they are!”
(Broward County, FL-AP) — Two Florida sheriff’s deputies who responded to the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school have been fired for neglect of duty.
An internal affairs investigation into police response to the February 2018 shooting shows that Broward County deputies Edward Eason and Joshua Stambaugh failed to meet Sheriff’s Offices standards.
Three others were accused of neglect of duty but were found not guilty. In the meantime the school’s former resource officer Scot Peterson faces criminal charges of felony child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury. He did not go into the school building after hearing gunshots.
The mass shooting claimed the lives of 17-people.
(Brooklyn, NY-AP) – Police in New York say they’ve found the body of popular Brooklyn YouTuber Etika. Twenty-nine-year-old Desmond Amofah disappeared last week after posting an apparently suicidal video.
His body was pulled from the East River. The YouTube personality, who reviews video games under the Etika name, also tweeted suicidal messages in April, prompting police to check on him.
(Stamford, CT-AP) — The estranged husband of a missing Connecticut mom wants to see his girlfriend. Fotis Dulos has been barred from contacting Michelle Troconis because they are co-defendants in the missing persons case of Jennifer Dulos.
An attorney for the missing woman’s estranged husband says Troconis believes in his innocence, and they should be allowed to live as they see fit. Fotis Dulos and Troconis are charged with hindering prosecution and evidence tampering in connection with the disappearance.
The New Cannan mother of five has been missing for a month.
(Brooklyn, NY-AP) — Police are trying to determine if a body found in the East River is that of a popular Brooklyn YouTuber missing since last week.
Items belonging to 29-year-old Desmond Amofah were reportedly found on the Manhattan Bridge last night not far from where the body was pulled out near Pier 16 in Lower Manhattan.
Amofah, who goes by Etika online, disappeared after posting an apparent suicidal video. The YouTube personality, who reviews video games, also tweeted suicidal messages in April, prompting police to check on him.