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Sunday, September 21, 2014

Georgia mother shot in head saves baby by hiding her in a toilet


As she lay dying, a young mother's last act was to save her baby daughter by sliding her into a toilet and throwing herself over the bowl, according to her family.

Jessica Arrendale, 33, is considered a hero by her loved ones for her selfless concern for her 6-month-old baby after being shot in the head.

The Smyrna, Ga., mom was under attack by the drunken, abusive father of her child, Jessica's mother Teresa Ionniello told WSB Radio Friday.

The fight started Saturday night after the two returned from dinner and Antoine Davis, 30, became belligerent, Ionniello said. Holding their baby, Jessica tried to defend herself with a baseball bat, but Davis took it from her, according to Inninello.


Davis struck Jessica several times with the bat, and she ran into a bathroom and locked the door. Davis, a former Marine, got an assault rifle and beat down the door. He shot Jessica once in the head.

"He shot her and they (police) don't know how she was able to twist her body and fall literally in the opposite direction," Ionniello told the station. Instead of falling onto the floor, Ionniello said her daughter fell over the toilet, dropping little Cobie into the bowl.

Davis later shot himself to death inside the home as police gathered outside.

The baby was discovered 13 hours later after cops stormed the home. The child has a traumatic head injury, which her grandmother believes was caused by the baseball bat.

She is very proud of her slain daughter.

"She was the hero," Ionniello said, "because her last breath was saving the child."

Source: Daily News
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Martin MacNeill sentenced for the murder of his wife

Photo courtesy of Fox13

“My father is a monster,” Alexis Somers told Judge Derek Pullan during victim impact statements on Friday morning.

On Nov. 9, 2013, a jury convicted Martin MacNeill of first-degree felony murder and second-degree felony obstruction of justice in the death of his wife, Michele MacNeill.

After months of delays, Judge Pullan sentenced MacNeill to 15 years to life for the murder and 1 to 15 years for the obstruction charge. He ordered the sentences to run consecutively.

Judge Pullan remarked that as a doctor, MacNeill took an oath to do no harm but instead he used his knowledge to commit this crime.

Looking disinterested, Martin MacNeill smiled and laughed during the entire proceeding. 

Astonishingly, while the judge was sentencing him, he and attorney Randy Spencer quietly talked and even shared a chuckle. 

The former doctor was found guilty of murdering his wife by pumping her full of medications following plastic surgery.  On April 11, 2007, her six-year-old daughter found her unresponsive in the bathtub. The defense claimed Michele had overdosed on the medication and drowned.




Following the proceedings, prosecutor Chad Grunander said, that given Martin MacNeill’s age and his refusal to admit any wrongdoing, he will likely die in prison.

To read more about the Martin MacNeill case, click here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Attorneys at odds over what led to girl's death


Attorneys gave different versions of what led to the fatal shooting of 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones during opening statements today in the retrial of a police officer charged in her death.

The prosecution told a jury —made up of 10 women and four men —that the case against Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley comes down to his conduct during a police raid in May 2010 on the city's east side.

"He shouldn't have had his finger on the trigger," Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Robert Moran said. "And that's why were here."

The defense countered saying there are truths and lies in the case and one of the reasons they were there is because of the lies.

Steve Fishman, Weekley's attorney, attacked the credibility of Aiyana's grandmother, Mertilla Jones, and told jurors that Jones had contact with Weekley's gun as he executed a search warrant for murder suspect at the home on Lillibridge.

"There was contact," Fishman said. "That's what happened, and the gun did discharge."

Jones, who was in the front room with her granddaughter when police burst inside, testified previously that she didn't grab or deflect the gun.

Fishman said the case boils down to whether jurors trust Jones' testimony beyond a reasonable doubt. He said Jones has testified before that Weekley came into the home, put his gun to Aiyana's head and assassinated her, which he called that "a complete and total lie."

"This is a tragic accident that resulted in the death of a little girl," Fishman said.

Weekley, 38, faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, a felony and careless discharge of a firearm causing death, a misdemeanor, in the death of Aiyana. His first trial ended in hung jury last year.


Couple sentenced to life in prison in Pa. Craigslist murder case


SUNBURY — A young couple who admitted killing a Snyder County man the wife met through Craigslist has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The sentence imposed Thursday by Northumberland County Judge Charles H. Saylor on Miranda Barbour, 19, and her husband Elytte, 22, was anticipated because it is required with a second-degree murder conviction.

The Barbours in August pleaded guilty to that charge, admitting they killed Troy LaFerrara, 42, of Port Trevorton on Nov. 11 and stealing his wallet. They were facing the possibility of the death penalty if they had been convicted of first-degree murder.

The two also pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault, robbery and possession of an instrument of crime.

When the Barbours pleaded guilty, they agreed to following description of what happened that November evening:

Miranda Barbour arranged through Craigslist to meet LaFerrara in a parking lot along Routes 11-15 north of Selinsgrove. They drove to Sunbury with her husband hiding on the backseat floor under a blanket.

When they stopped in Sunbury, Miranda Barbour repeatedly stabbed LaFerrara while her husband restrained him with a piece of television cable around the neck. LaFerrara was left in an alley behind the 200 block of Catawissa Avenue where his body was discovered.

Miranda Barbour later voluntarily confessed, initially claiming she stabbed LaFerrara when he began to grope her and put his hands around her throat.

Her husband, who was prepared to testify against his wife according to his attorney, told investigators where to find the knife in the attic of a Selinsgrove house where they were staying with others.

Saylor had ruled both the confession and the knife could be introduced as evidence. There was issue with the search warrant affidavit because it contained a different Selinsgrove address.

The two had moved to Selinsgrove from North Carolina where they had gotten married three weeks before LaFerrara was killed.

Miranda Barbour, the mother of a young daughter, was arrested Dec. 3 and her husband three days later. They have been held in separate jails since without bail.

In February, Miranda Barbour was transferred to the state prison at Muncy because publicity generated by the case was interfering with operations at the Northumberland County Prison.

Source: pennlive.com
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