Tag Archives: guilty

Documents: Ex-GOP chair for North Carolina to plead guilty

Documents: Ex-GOP chair for North Carolina to plead guiltyA former North Carolina GOP chairman will admit in court that he lied to federal agents conducting a bribery investigation of a major political donor, according to court documents filed Friday. The federal court docket shows that Robin Hayes is scheduled to enter a guilty plea next Wednesday. Hayes has agreed to plead guilty to making a false statement to the FBI, said U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Lia Bantavani.



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California Man Found Guilty of ‘Cold-Blooded Execution’ of Ex-Wife’s Family

California Man Found Guilty of ‘Cold-Blooded Execution’ of Ex-Wife’s FamilyREUTERS/Brett Coomer/PoolA California man accused of driving across the country to kill six of his ex-wife’s family members in a “cold-blooded execution” fueled by revenge was found guilty of capital murder in a Texas court on Thursday.Ronald Lee Haskell, 39, now faces the death penalty for the July 2014 massacre of Katie Stay, 34, her 39-year-old husband, Stephen, and four of their five children inside their suburban Houston home. The only survivor of the bloodbath, 19-year-old Cassidy Stay, who played dead after Haskell shot her in the head, cried in the courtroom’s front row along with several family members as the verdict was read.“This was anger, rage. This was vengeance and it was not a serious mental illness,” Harris County Assistant District Attorney Samantha Knecht said in court, adding that he was “not a disorganized, psychotic individual. That is a man with a plan.”‘Sickening’: Family Rails at Early Release of Woman in Connecticut Sex MurderThroughout the month-long trial in Houston, prosecutors argued Haskell had been planning for months to drive from California to Texas to carry out the execution, motivated by his desire to hurt anyone who helped his ex-wife, Melannie Lyon, after their acrimonious divorce.  “He absolutely knew what he was doing that day,” Knecht said during her closing arguments Wednesday. “He took steps to hide, to disguise, and to plan this execution.”Haskell’s defense attorneys did not deny the 39-year-old committed the crime—but argued that he was driven to kill by his mental-health problems and the voices in his head.“He had a severe mental illness,” defense lawyer Douglas Durham said. “Don’t let yourselves get angry or become vengeful yourself for the terrible, terrible acts of Ronald Haskell.”Prosecutors argued against his insanity defense, pointing to Haskell’s planning of the crime, including his purchase of a FedEx uniform to wear as a disguise to gain access to the Stay family’s residence. Haskell also allegedly made a pit stop in Utah to steal a gun from his ex-girlfriend, and then purchased over 200 rounds of ammo. Haskell stalked the Stay home for days, prosecutors said, before finally knocking on the door dressed in his FedEx outfit on July 9, 2014. Cassidy Stay, who was then 15, testified in court that she opened the door and told Haskell her parents were not home but she expected them to return in an hour. Cops: NYPD Officer Ordered Hit on Estranged Husband, Boyfriend’s Kid“He puts on this FedEx shirt, this disguise. If he didn’t know what he was doing was wrong, why did he need a disguise?” Knecht said.The 39-year-old left but later returned and forced himself inside the house. Cassidy Stay testified that she was tied up and held at gunpoint with her siblings until her parents arrived. “I felt like the light got sucked out. I started to get nervous,” Stay told jurors. “I said please don’t hurt us, please don’t hurt us. I knew how dangerous he was.”  “I went through and told him my brothers and sisters names and ages. I was appealing to his humanity. I didn’t think someone would hurt kids if they knew how old they were,” she added. The teenager said they were all told to lie in a row, then Haskell began counting to seven before shooting them in the head. Katie Stay lunged at him, prosecutors said, when he shot her in the face with a makeshift silencer over his weapon.“I saw her fall. I started screaming, I heard Zach screaming. I heard another shot and then Zach stopped screaming,” Stay testified.Stay said she played dead alongside her fatally shot father, Stephen Stay, her brothers Bryan, 13, and Zach, 4, and sisters, Emily, 9, and Rebecca, 7. For 18 Years, Cops Thought He Was Eaten by Alligators. Now His Wife Has Been Convicted of His Murder.When he’d finished shooting, Haskell fled and Stay called police, telling them “Uncle Ronnie” was heading to her grandparents’ house. Several officers caught up with Haskell near Lyon’s parents’ home and arrested him after a standoff.Melannie Lyon, 38, told jurors that Haskell had often threatened to harm her and her family if she told anyone about his physical and emotional abuse—and instantly knew it was her ex-husband when she heard her family members had been murdered.“He had carried through on his promises to make me watch my family die,” Lyon said. The mother of four spoke about the abuse she endured during her 12-year marriage to Haskell, who isolated her from her family and threatened to kill her if she left. In 2008, Lyon said she finally reported her husband’s abuse, at which point he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was granted nine months probation. Five years later, she said she reached a breaking point when her husband punched her during a fight about flooring for their new Utah home. “That was my wake up call,” Lyon said. “I knew I could not raise my kids in this evil environment any longer.”When Haskell was at work, she took their kids and stayed at a shelter for five weeks while she filed for a protective order. Lyon said her sister Katie came up to help her leave Utah. At one point, Haskell allegedly threatened Katie during a conversation with his oldest son, saying, “If she’s there helping you and helping your mom, I will make her pay.”Mother, Daughter Killed Pregnant Teen With Cable and Ripped Baby From Womb: PoliceHaskell’s defense attorneys said that while Lyon’s decision to divorce him caused him to spiral, it was the voices in his head that urged him to kill the Stays so his marriage could be saved. “He tried to get help for years. He didn’t want to be this way. He had no control,” Neal Davis, another defense attorney, said.Forensic psychiatrist Stephen Raffle testified that at the time of the killings, Haskell was suffering from a form of bipolar disorder and schizoaffective disorder, a condition characterized by hallucinations or delusions.Raffle said the voices in Haskell’s head “had basically taken control” of him, adding that one “voice name Joseph was telling Ron that he has to kill members of his ex-wife’s Melannie’s family in order to get reunited with her.”Lyon dismissed those claims, stating that during their marriage, her ex-husband had been diagnosed with depression and that he had abused his medication. “He used his health in any state as kind of a feather in his cap as an excuse for his behavior,” she said, adding that he never spoke about delusions or hallucinations.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. 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Michelle Malkin Smears Cokie Roberts on the Day of Her Death: ‘One of the First Guilty Culprits of Fake News’

Michelle Malkin Smears Cokie Roberts on the Day of Her Death: ‘One of the First Guilty Culprits of Fake News’Charley Gallay/Getty for International Innovators of Justice/American Justice AllianceHours after the world learned that journalist Cokie Roberts had passed away following complications from breast cancer, right-wing provocateur Michelle Malkin took a swipe at the reporter’s legacy by calling her “one of the first guilty culprits of fake news.”Taking part in a panel at the Paley Center on Tuesday, Malkin joined an array of liberal and conservative commentators and media figures to discuss whether the media is biased.At one point in the discussion, Malkin—who has recently been making the media rounds hawking her latest anti-immigrant book—took aim at Roberts.“Cokie Roberts, of course, passed away today and God bless her for an incredible career that she had but I distinctly remember that she was one of the first guilty culprits of fake news,” she declared.“We’re doing this today?” CNN chief media correspondent Brian Stelter, who was also on the panel, interjected.“Yes, yes we are,” Malkin confirmed.“You’re attacking her today,” Stelter continued. “I just want to be clear: The body isn’t even cold yet.”Malkin, meanwhile, said her remark was “pertinent” to the issue of “fake news,” bringing up an instance in 1994 when Roberts stood in front of a projection of the Capitol to do an ABC News report from the State of the Union address.“This was a deliberate attempt to deceive the viewing public into thinking she was actually there live covering it,” Malkin added. “Fake news has existed far longer than before President Trump even had the idea of running for office.”Malkin’s remarks, predictably, were not well received by the attendees, with many in the audience shouting at her to leave and go home. Tuesday was far from the first time that Malkin has kicked dirt on a prominent figure after he or she has passed away. During this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, Malkin slammed the “ghost of John McCain” for what she described as his weak immigration policies.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Ex-cheerleader accused of killing newborn found not guilty on most serious charges

Ex-cheerleader accused of killing newborn found not guilty on most serious chargesSkylar Richardson was found not guilty of aggravated murder and involuntary manslaughter. She was accused of deliberately killing her and burying her baby.



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Paris court finds Saudi princess guilty in beating case

Paris court finds Saudi princess guilty in beating caseA French court found the only daughter of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman guilty of complicity in violence Thursday for ordering her bodyguard to detain and strike a plumber for taking photos at the Saudi royal family’s apartment in Paris. The prosecution alleged the princess became enraged when she saw the plumber capturing her image at the royal residence near the Champs-Elysees, fearing the pictures could be used to harm her as the Saudi monarch’s daughter and the older half-sister of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.



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Ohio Cheerleader Found Not Guilty of Murdering Her Newborn Baby

Ohio Cheerleader Found Not Guilty of Murdering Her Newborn BabyPhoto Illustration by The Daily Beast / Photo Courtesy Warren County Sheriff's OfficeThe Ohio cheerleader accused of killing her newborn baby and burying her in the backyard in an unmarked grave has been acquitted of the most serious charges against her. Brooke Skylar Richardson, now 20, was found not guilty of three charges, including aggravated murder, and involuntary manslaughter. The jury did find her guilty of gross abuse of a corpse, for which she will be sentenced on Friday. The charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in prison.The verdict came after an eight-day trial during which jurors had to decide whether Richardson was a scared teenager who experienced a stillbirth or a cold-blooded murderer. Richardson, who sobbed when the verdict was read, was accused of killing her newborn child in 2017, when she was 18, and burying the baby in her Carlisle, Ohio, backyard.Cheerleader Accused of Murdering, Burying Newborn Goes on TrialProsecutors alleged the cheerleader purposefully killed the female infant, who was born alive, “because she did not want to be pregnant.”  “Unwanted,” Assistant Warren County Prosecutor Julie Kraft said during closing arguments on Thursday. “That’s what Brooke Richardson’s daughter was.”Richardson’s attorneys argued in court that the baby, whom the cheerleader named Annabelle, was born stillborn at 33 weeks. Out of fear, her lawyers said, Richardson buried the baby in the backyard. They also argued her confession to police about burning her baby was coerced. Last week, prosecutors played a recording of the 2017 police interview with Richardson. “Honey, tell us what happened,” her father said at the end of the interview, according to the transcript.“I tried to cremate the baby,” Richardson allegedly said.In another police interview played in court last week, Richardson could be heard telling police she didn’t return her doctor’s calls because she was scared. “I didn’t really want to have my baby,” she told police. “I really don’t know what I planned to do.”A psychologist testified that Richardson was sexually abused when she was 12, arguing that the trauma from that led to a “personality disorder” that made her feel like she must comply with authority figures.“Skylar, because of her personality disorder, has very a difficult time confronting those in authority. She has a very difficult time speaking up for herself,” psychologist Dr. Stuart Bassman testified on Wednesday. “What’s most sad about this is Skylar, because of her personality disorder, is not able to protect herself. She was not able to defend herself.”Bassman insisted that the video of the “defenseless” Richardson telling police interviewers she heard the baby making sounds after she gave birth and still burned her with a lighter proved her disorder. The psychologist later called Richardson’s second interrogation with investigators from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office “a clear case of intimidation.”On Wednesday, Richardson’s brother also revealed the 20-year-old suffered from an disorder, recalling that he would often catch his sister hiding her food and hearing her throw up.“I just wanted her to be happy,” Jackson Richardson said. The defense also argued that the baby’s development was affected by her weight and health problems. Assistant Prosecutor Steve Knippen, however, asserted in court that Richardson never wanted to have a child and worried that her lifestyle would be ruined by her pregnancy. In court, prosecutors presented text messages Richardson allegedly sent her mom, who did not realize that her daughter was pregnant until she was questioned by police.“I’m literally so excited for dinner to wear something cute yayy my belly is back now I am takin this opportunity to make it amazing,” she allegedly texted, just 24 hours after her baby died. Richardson then allegedly texted her mother again the day after she buried the child. “I’m literally speechless with how happy I am,” Richardson allegedly texted. “My belly is back omg I am never ever ever evertrrr letting it grt like this again your about to see me look freaking better than before omg.”“That belly was her child,” Knippen said on Thursday, referencing Richardson’s texts. “That belly was her daughter with fingers and toes and hair on her head. A child she tossed in the dirt.”Authorities discovered the remains of the infant in the summer of 2017 after receiving a tip from the teenager’s doctors. Prosecutors allege Richardson had an “extreme” reaction after being told she was pregnant and did not return for follow-up prenatal visits. Another doctor also called police after Richardson allegedly told her she had “gone into labor, delivered a stillborn baby, and buried the baby in her backyard,” according to court papers.  Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Mississippi man pleads guilty to cross burning, sentenced to 11 years in federal prison

Mississippi man pleads guilty to cross burning, sentenced to 11 years in federal prisonLouie Revette pleaded guilty in April for his part in burning a cross outside the home of a black family in Seminary, Mississippi.



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Jury finds former Obama White House Counsel Gregory Craig not guilty in foreign-influence case

Jury finds former Obama White House Counsel Gregory Craig not guilty in foreign-influence caseA jury found former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig not guilty Wednesday of providing false information to federal investigators.



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Utah man found guilty of running massive opioid ring

Utah man found guilty of running massive opioid ringA Utah man was convicted Friday of running a multimillion-dollar opioid ring that sent hundreds of thousands of potentially deadly pills across the country in a scheme that authorities said helped fuel the nation's opioid epidemic. A jury reached the verdict after deliberating less than a day in the case against Aaron Shamo. "He's 29 and his life is over," defense attorney Greg Skordas said after the verdict was read.



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Colorado mom found guilty of killing newborn, throwing her in neighbor's yard

Colorado mom found guilty of killing newborn, throwing her in neighbor's yardA young woman accused of killing her newborn daughter and then tossing the baby over a fence into a neighbor's backyard was found guilty of first-degree murder.



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