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- TWENTY YEARS AGO TODAY, readers of the Washington Post woke to the manifesto of the Unabomber, Read the Washington Posts’ Today in History article: How Publishing a 35,000 Word Manifesto Led to the Unabomber.
- A jury has recommended the death penalty for anti-Semitic shooter Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., 74 for the April 2014 murders of 3 people. Miller repeatedly admitted to the shootings. Miller’s victims were William Corporan, 69, and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Griffin Underwood, who were at the Jewish Community Center for an event and Terri LaManno, 53, who was visiting her mother at the Village Shalom retirement center. None of the victims were Jewish, but there was no question that Miller’s anti-Semitism was the motive for the shootings. His official sentencing is set for November 10th when the judge will decide whether to follow the jury’s recommendation. Miller, a Vietnam War veteran, and founder of the Carolina KKK, and White Patriot Party, gave a Nazi salute after the jury returned their recommendation. He represented himself at trial and at times gave rambling bigoted diatribes against others. It is unlikely that Miller will be executed given the fact that a doctor testified he only has 5 – 6 years to live. [NBC]
- Judge David Lowy has ordered that prosecutor’s experts be allowed to interview state employees who were in contact with Philip Chism in the months after his arrest. Lowy said that by using a defense of mental illness (at least for now) has waived protections that would normally apply to discussions between teens and counselors. Chism, now 16, is charged with the Oct. 2013 rape, robbery, and murder of his teacher Colleen Ritzer, 24, inside of a Danvers High School bathroom. Prosecutors successfully argued that counselors at the Department of Youth Services Metropolitan Detention Center did not give Chism actual treatment, they typically are available to help children adjust to state custody. Meanwhile, the court and lawyers have been heavily discussing media coverage particularly the interest in “live streaming” the proceedings. The judge said he isn’t concerned with local media or print media, but is concerned about bloggers and other journalists. [Gloucester Times]
- Joey Meek, 21, the friend of accused Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof, has been charged with lying to authorities. He has pled not guilty. Roof spent time with the Bible study group at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church before massacring 9 of them. Roof, 21, is currently facing the possibly of a death sentence if convicted. Roof has expressed interest in pleading guilty in exchange for a life without parole sentence, but prosecutors in recent high profile capital cases have turned down these offers. Meek originally told the media and authorities that he didn’t take his friend’s threats seriously, but prosecutors allege that “Meek’s statements and representations denying [knowing] specifics [is] fictitious and fraudulent…” He is also charged with failing to notify authorities of the shooting before it happened. Meek told the media that his friend wanted to start a “race war”. Hate crimes in places of worship have gone down since 2008, but remain at about 200 incidents a year according to the Hate Crime Statistics report published by the FBI. In addition, 65% of hate crimes are committed against African Americans or are categorized as “anti-Black”. Meek faces 8 years if convicted. Read the Indictments against Meek here and here. [CNN, The State, Yahoo, The Post and Courier, NPR]
- The man accused of killing University of Virginia sophomore Hannah Graham in 2014 has now been charged with the abduction and murder of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington. Jesse Matthew, 33, is charged with 1st degree murder and abduction with intent to defile in the 2009 disappearance of Harrington. Harrington, 20, vanished after attending a Metallica concert at the UVA campus. Her body was found 3 months later. Matthew, was a patient technician at the UVA medical center and a former taxi driver. Matthew is already facing 3 life terms after he pled no contest to the 2005 abduction, sexual assault, and attempted murder of a woman in Fairfax. Federal law enforcement revealed that DNA recovered from the Harrington case was linked to the 2005 assault and a then unknown perpetrator. After Matthew was arrested for the murder of Hannah Graham, his DNA sample was taken and matched both the Harrington and 2005 cases. His trial for Graham’s murder will begin in July of 2016. [NBC]
- Three more people have been charged in the abduction and murders of the Lyon sisters in 1975. All 3 defendants are related to Richard Welch, who is a person of interest in the murders. Gladys Stangee, Welch’s sister, Amy Johnson, his granddaughter, and Leslie Engleking, his brother-in-law, have all been charged with impeding the investigation. Lloyd Michael Welch, a convicted sex offender, is Richard’s nephew and is accused of killing 12-year-old Sheila and 10-year-old Catherine. Their remains have never been found. [Fox5DC]
- Fanatisicm over the Jodi Arias trial led to a violent assault at a Talaricos Bar and Restaurant in California. Arias was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for killing her ex-boyfriend in a sensationalized trial. Roman Benninghoven-Salado approached a man standing outside of the restaurant and started a conversation about the trial. Roman got angry about comments made by the victim, pushed him to the ground, and struck him multiple times with his fists and feet. The victim sustained a facial fracture and multiple lacerations. Police are searching for Benninghoven-Salado. [FOX13]