Oklahoma school district reportedly pays $125,000 to family after teacher had sex with student

Jul 25, 2017 3

An Oklahoma school district reportedly settled a lawsuit over a 31-year-old English teacher who had sex with an eight-grade student.

The student’s family was paid $125,000, The Daily Mail reported.

The Oklahoman reported in June that Jennifer Caswell pleaded guilty to second-degree rape and other charges in Harmon County District Court. Sentencing was set for Aug. 31.

The boy’s father said in a federal lawsuit that local school officials let Caswell resign and keep her teaching credentials. He was seeking $1 million for pain, suffering and his son’s mental and emotional anguish. The district denies wrongdoing.

The father alleged at least two people saw Caswell engaged in sexual acts with his son in her classroom, when she taught under the name Jennifer Sexton.

After she resigned in April 2014, she had sex with the boy in a vehicle, her house and the boy’s father’s house, according to prosecutors. After the woman followed him to Mississippi, where he had been sent to say with his mother, the boy began cooperating with authorities.

The boy was 15 at the time of the crimes. The paper reported that Caswell was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

“The district’s overall position is that they acted appropriately once they were aware of an issue,” lawyer Andy Fugitt told the newspaper.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

'Peter Boy' case: Father of Hawaii boy missing since 1997 is sentenced for manslaughter

Jul 24, 2017 10

A man whose 6-six-year-old son vanished in 1997 was sentenced Monday in a Hawaii courtroom to 20 years in prison for manslaughter, fulfilling a deal with prosecutors that required him to reveal the location of his son’s body.

The boy’s father, Peter Kema Sr., also was sentenced to five years for hindering prosecution — a sentence that will run concurrently, KHON reported. He must serve a minimum of six years and eight months. 

Prosecutors have said the child apparently was abused and died from septic shock after a festering arm sore went untreated. The boy was known as “Peter Boy” and “Pepe,” the Hawaii Herald-Tribune reported. 

Kema led police and prosecutors to a remote coastal area of the Big Island in April, but water and time kept investigators from finding any remains, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Rick Damerville said.

Kema later passed a polygraph test, which said he was telling the truth about where he disposed of the remains and allowed his sentencing to move forward. 

The boy’s mother, Jaylin Kema, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in 2016. In June of this year, she was sentenced to 10 years’ probation for manslaughter and one year in jail, which she’d already served, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported. She was released from jail in April. 

MOTHER OF HAWAII BOY MISSING FOR 20 YEARS RELEASED FROM JAIL

Peter Kema told authorities that he took his son from the Big Island to Oahu and gave him to someone named “Aunty Rose Makuakane” in an informal adoption. Police were unable to find a woman as described by Kema or airline records that indicated he had flown there.

Sometime between May and June 1997, the couple’s then-4-year-old daughter heard Jaylin Kema calling out for her husband and saw her trying to resuscitate the boy, according to prosecutors. The girl later saw her brother in a box, prosecutors said.

Peter Kema Sr. declined to speak at the sentencing, which Jaylin Kema and Peter Boy’s family reportedly attended. 

The child’s grandfather James Acol Sr. told the Tribune-Herald, “I thought he’d at least turn to us and look at us and apologize, say something. If you’re human, say something. He didn’t say anything. No remorse, nothing.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

San Antonio trailer deaths: What we know

Jul 24, 2017 13

A tenth victim found inside a stifling tractor-trailer that was discovered packed with immigrants outside a Walmart in San Antonio, Texas during the weekend died overnight, federal prosecutors said Monday.

The driver of the truck, 60-year-old James Matthew Bradley, Jr., has been charged with transporting illegal aliens in an alleged human smuggling case. 

Here’s what we know so far about how the incident and how it unfolded. 

What happened?

Someone from the truck approached a Walmart employee and asked for water late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said. The employee gave the person water and then called police.

San Antonio police officers responded to the Walmart “shortly after midnight” Sunday, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) release.

A police officer saw “a number of people standing and lying in the rear of the trailer, and the driver, Bradley, in the cab,” it said. Bradley said he didn’t know the trailer had people inside, that he “discovered them only when he exited the vehicle to relieve himself” and he tried to administer aid, according to the release.

San Antonio police said that they “found eight deceased persons and 30-40 others, all undocumented aliens,” it said. 

The temperature in the Texas city hit 101 degrees on Saturday and didn’t go below 90 degrees until after 10 p.m. The truck didn’t have working air conditioning, San Antonio Fire Chief Charles Hood said.

What do we know about the people in the truck?

Eight bodies were found by authorities inside the 18-wheeler, while another two people died at the hospital. The ten dead victims are adult men, San Antonio Patch reported. 

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Special Agents spoke to some of the people who had been in the trailer, who “described how they had been smuggled across the Rio Grande River near Laredo at different times and as part of different groups,” the DOJ release said, adding that the groups were gathered in the trailer Sunday. 

“To maximize their criminal profits, these human smugglers crammed more than 100 people into a tractor trailer in the stifling Texas summer heat resulting in ten dead and 29 others hospitalized,” Acting ICE Director Thomas Homan said in a statement.

Officials said 39 people were inside when rescuers arrived, and the rest were believed to have escaped or hitched rides to their next destination.

Two of the seven people who arrived at University Hospital in San Antonio on Sunday have been discharged, spokesman Don Finley said. Finley said four men and one woman remain at the hospital, in conditions ranging from good to critical.

At the San Antonio Military Medical Center on the Fort Sam Houston Army post, spokeswoman Elaine Sanchez said all five patients admitted to the hospital Sunday remain in treatment.

None of the patients admitted to various Baptist Health System hospitals in San Antonio have been discharged, spokeswoman Patti Tanner said.

A spokesman for Guatemala’s Foreign Ministry said one of the victims who died was 20-year-old Frank Guisseppe Fuentes Gonzales. Two other Guatemalans, ages 17 and 23, survived and were said to be in stable condition.

Survivor Adan Lalravega, 27, said he lost consciousness while sweating profusely without water inside the pitch-black compartment without any ventilation — and awoke in a San Antonio hospital bed.

Lalravega told The Associated Press on Monday that people cried and pleaded for water and that he heard children’s voices whimper. He said smugglers who hid him and six friends in a safe house in Laredo, Texas, claimed they’d be riding in an air-conditioned space.

The trip from Laredo to San Antonio is about two hours. Lalravega said he and his friends got in the trailer between 10 and 11 p.m. He also said that he never saw the truck driver and was never offered water. He said they were being charged $5,500 for the trip and the money was never collected.

Four of the migrants found alive in the tractor-trailer come from Calvillo, Mexico.

SAN ANTONIO TRAILER DEATHS: SUSPECT DUE IN COURT AFTER 10 DIE IN SWELTERING TRUCK

What about the driver?

Bradley, Jr., of Clearwater, Fla., has been charged with one count of transporting illegal aliens, according to the DOJ, which said a “federal alien smuggling charge” was filed against Bradley. 

Bradley was questioned by authorities and claimed to have been “traveling from Laredo to San Antonio, after having the tractor-trailer washed and detailed at a truck stop near Laredo,” according to the DOJ release.

Bradley said he was taking the truck to its new owner in Brownsville, Texas, the criminal complaint said.

Bradley claimed he heard “banging and shaking in the trailer” when he got out of the cab at the Walmart, and he told investigators “he went to open the doors and was surprised when he was run over by ‘Spanish’ people and knocked to the ground,” the complaint added.

Bradley said he saw bodies on the floor and that he knew at least one person was dead, according to the complaint. Bradley said he contacted his wife, who didn’t pick up, but that he didn’t contact 911, the document said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

New York kayak killer pleads guilty to homicide in fiance's death

Jul 24, 2017 19

​A woman accused of intentionally drowning her fiance in the Hudson River ​by tampering with his kayak ​in a plot to collect on his life insurance ​has dodged murder ​and manslaughter ​raps — pleading guilty Monday to the lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide.

Angelika Graswald, 37, now faces as little as 1 1/3 ​to 4 ​years behind bars. ​But the permanent US resident ​will face deportation back to her native Latvia, prosecutors said.

Graswald admitted that she pulled the pl​​ug from husband-to-be Vincent Viafore’s boat before watching him drown as his kayak capsized during a boating trip in April 2015, prosecutors said Monday.

DYLAN REDWINE’S MOM SAYS SHE’S KNOWN SINCE ‘DAY 1’ HER EX WAS THEIR SON’S KILLER

She also admitted she knew that the ring for his paddle was missing, and that he was not wearing a life vest or a wet suit despite heading into dangerously cold and rough conditions.

Her lawyer had previously argued Viafore capsized because he’d been drinking, and the “pinkie-sized” drain plug — which was found in ​Graswald’s car — made no difference.

But Graswald told police​,​ “I wanted him dead​,​” in an interrogation, during which she also ​bizarrely ​performed yoga poses.

She told cops Viafore — who would​ have been her third husband — ​had pressed her for “sexual stuff” she wasn’t ready for.

​Graswald has been in custody awaiting trail. Her sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 1.

READ MORE FROM THE NEW YORK POST.

Detroit-area councilman's son charged in murder of suspected drug dealer

Jul 24, 2017 18

A Detroit-area councilman’s son shot a suspected drug dealer to death this weekend using a rifle he concealed in a garbage bag, police said.

Joseph Pruneau, 33, the son of River Rouge City councilman Mark Pruneau, was charged Monday in the shooting death of Robert Cook, 59, Fox 2 Detroit reported.

Pruneau allegedly rode his bicycle to Cook’s home with a rifle on Friday and opened fire when Cook let him into his house.

Cook was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead later that night. Meanwhile, Pruneau fled the scene on his bike, officials said.

SAN ANTONIO TRAILER DEATHS: DRIVER CHARGED AFTER 10 DIE IN SWELTERING TRUCK

Police caught up with Pruneau soon afterward, however, and arrested him.

Pruneau was charged with murder and felony firearm. He was expected to be arraigned Monday.

Click here for more from Fox 2 Detroit. 

2 dead, 6 injured after car plows into crowd outside South Dakota rehab center

Jul 24, 2017 16

Two people were killed and six others were injured Monday after a vehicle plowed into a crowd of pedestrians before slamming into a building in South Dakota, police said.

The driver of the vehicle, whose identity was not released, was among those injured, and police said the crash appeared to be an accident.

The vehicle hit a group of people outside Alcester Care and Rehab Center, a nursing home facility, State Highway Patrol spokesman Tony Mangan said. The investigation was ongoing.

Mangan initially said eight people were taken to hospitals, but later said the number was actually six. He didn’t immediately provide details about the conditions of the injured.

It’s unclear what caused the crash. Highway Patrol is leading the investigation into the collision, according to Mangan. 

Alcester is a city of about 750 people south of Sioux Falls.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

US preps next missile test, from Alaskan island

Jul 24, 2017 15

The U.S. is set to conduct another missile defense test this weekend, with the latest exercise based on a remote Alaskan island and coming amid the growing ballistic missile threat from North Korea.

A notice put out by the U.S. Coast Guard last week warns of “hazardous operations,” saying “The Alaska Aerospace Corporation is conducting a rocket launch from the Kodiak Narrow Cape Launch Facility, located on Kodiak Island, Alaska.” They are warning vessels to steer clear of several areas between Alaska and Hawaii during the launch which is scheduled for July 29.

U.S. military personnel are stationed at the Pacific Spaceport Complex-Alaska to conduct a test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile shield, according to the Kodiak Daily Mirror. 

“What is unimaginable to me is allowing a nuclear weapon to land in Denver, Colo. My job will be to develop military options to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

– Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford

Department of Defense spokesman Lt. Col. Chris Logan declined to comment on the plan or its connection to the ongoing threat from North Korea. The U.S. has conducted a spate of successful missile intercept tests in recent months as Pyongyang has executed offensive missile testing.

“We continue to monitor North Korea, but are not going to comment on matters of intelligence,” Logan told Fox News.

On July 11, the U.S. test-fired its THAAD anti-ballistic missile system from Kodiak Island, successfully intercepting a target missile launched from an Air Force Cargo plane north of Hawaii.

That test took place one week after North Korea test-fired an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) on July 4. That was the regime’s most successful test, leading to the concern that it has the capability to reach the United States.

THAAD is used to intercept short- and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. It does not target intercontinental ballistic missiles. The U.S. has a perfect record on launches, hitting 14 out of 14 targets.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the government and contractor team who executed this flight test today,” said Missile Defense Agency Director Lt. Gen. Sam Greaves after the successful test. “This test further demonstrates the capabilities of the THAAD weapon system and its ability to intercept and destroy ballistic missile threats. THAAD continues to protect our citizens, deployed forces and allies from a real and growing threat.”

THAAD systems have been placed in Guam and South Korea to counter missile threats from North Korea, whose leader, dictator Kim Jong Un, has become increasingly belligerent in recent months.

“Kim Jong Un’s regime is tied to nuclear program, and what I can tell the American people today is North Korea is capable of launching a limited missile attack,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford said Saturday. He was answering questions at the 2017 Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colo. He went on to say “The United States military can defend against a limited North Korea attack on Seoul, Japan and the United States.”

Regarding possible military options against North Korea, he said that would be “horrific” and that the loss of life would be “unlike any we have experienced in our lifetimes.”

He did concede “It is not unimaginable to have military options on the Korean peninsula,” saying “What is unimaginable to me is allowing a nuclear weapon to land in Denver, Colo. My job will be to develop military options to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

New Hampshire signs ask residents to give cash to charities, not panhandlers

Jul 24, 2017 17

New signs in Manchester, N.H. are asking people to stop giving money to panhandlers.

Often standing at busy intersections, panhandlers put themselves in the heart of traffic with a sign asking people to help them by donating spare change or a few bucks. But police say this is dangerous and the unsafe behavior needs to stop.

Manchester Police Chief Nick Willard tweeted a photo of the new signs posted around town Monday, which ask people to donate to a local charity instead of giving money to these people.

The picture even has a woman with a cardboard sign standing next to one of the news warnings.

“Your generosity could l lead to a fatality,” the sign reads.

The sign also has a list of a few local charities you could support.

Willard also offered a look at similar signs in New York City that discourage panhandling.

Click for more from Fox 25 Boston.

2 dead, 8 injured after car plows into crowd outside South Dakota rehab center

Jul 24, 2017 15

Two people were killed and eight others were injured Monday after a vehicle plowed into a crowd of pedestrians before slamming into a building in South Dakota, police said.

The driver of the vehicle, whose identity was not released, was among those injured, and police said the crash appeared to be an accident.

The vehicle hit a group of people outside Alcester Care and Rehab Center, a nursing home facility, State Highway Patrol spokesman Tony Mangan said. The investigation was ongoing.

It’s unclear what caused the crash. Highway Patrol is leading the investigation into the collision, according to Mangan. 

Alcester is a city of about 750 people south of Sioux Falls.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

10-year-old boy dies after he is shot by brother, 13

Jul 24, 2017 20

St. Louis police say a 10-year-old boy who died after being shot in the head was killed accidentally by his 13-year-old brother.

The shooting happened Sunday evening at the Clinton-Peabody public housing complex. The victim’s name has not been released. Police say the boy wasn’t conscious or breathing when officers arrived and was pronounced dead.

Police said Monday that an investigation revealed that the 13-year-old brother was handling a firearm when it went off. The 13-year-old is in the custody of juvenile authorities.

The mother of the boys is also in custody. No charges have been filed.