Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Bill Cosby is set to be deposed Friday for the first time since a growing number of sexual abuse allegations have emerged against the actor.
“In any deposition, we are permitted to ask any question that is relevant and that is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence,” said Gloria Allred, the high-profile civil rights lawyer who will be deposing Cosby. “And so we have wide latitude in any deposition so that we are able to prepare our case for trial.”
Allred’s client, Judy Huth, alleges Cosby, 78, forced her to perform a sex act on him at the Playboy mansion in the mid-70s, when she was just 15 years old.
“It’s a very serious allegation, of course, because it’s an allegation of child sexual abuse,” explained Allred. “And so we have a longer period of time, a longer period of statute of limitations for a lawsuit to be pursued in California for a person who alleges she is an adult survivor of child sexual abuse.”
A judge has ordered the deposition recording and transcript to remain sealed until late December, at least, pending further arguments.
Cosby’s lawyers have denied Huth’s claims in court documents calling them “absolutely false” and “baseless,” and the lawsuit “outrageous.”
“It’s very, very challenging for Judy and I do admire her courage,” said Allred. “She is not going to be present at deposition of Mr. Cosby. She has a right to be there, but she does not wish to be there. She is just relying on her attorneys to proceed and to assert her rights and to vindicate her rights, and that’s what we are committed to doing.”
“I expect that Bill Cosby will evoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination on almost all of the crucial questions that Gloria Allred or any other attorney wants to ask,” said Dan Abrams, Chief Legal Affairs Anchor for ABC News.
Statutes of limitations prevent most of Cosby’s accusers from attempting to file criminal charges or civil claims against him for incidents that allegedly occurred long ago. But that hasn’t prevented many from speaking out. So far, more than 50 women have accused Cosby of sexual assault, drugging, or rape. Their allegations span five decades. Cosby has never been charged with a crime and his attorneys have said he denies the allegations.
Chloe Goins, a 25-year-old Las Vegas model, is one of the youngest women to come forward publicly, accusing Cosby of sexual abuse.
“It's such a traumatic and hard thing to live with,” Goins said. “And for a long time I tried to bury it.”
Her lawyer, Spencer Kuven, believes her claims fall within the statute of limitations, making them a potential game changer in the firestorm surrounding the man who was once “America’s Favorite Dad,” and star of the legendary Cosby Show.
“All I can think is, ‘hypocrite,’” said Goins. “Somebody who goes on TV and presents such a wholesome image yet is so sick. It’s hard to – I can't watch it. And that's why I'm here today, to bring out the truth-- the truth about his lies, the truth about his secrets.”
Goins filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday claiming Cosby drugged and assaulted her in 2008 when she was just a teenager.
“It's tragic that it happened to me when I was so young,” she said, “just coming into womanhood.”
Goins’ lawyer says Cosby offered her a drink at a party at the Playboy mansion in 2008.
“Chloe had a few sips of the drink and began feeling nauseous and dizzy," said Kuven.
He says Cosby then offered to escort her to a bedroom. “And on their way to the bedroom, Chloe blacked out,” Kuven claims. “She doesn't remember anything after that point until waking up with no clothes on, laying on her back in a bed. And at the time she wakes up, she felt that her chest was wet and sticky as if somebody had been licking on it.”
Kuven says, “She then noticed that Mr. Cosby was down at the foot of the bed and was biting one of her toes,” and that Cosby then left the room.
“There's a lotta shame in the act of what happened,” said Goins. “And it's an embarrassing thing that happened to me.”
Goins did not report the alleged incident to police until January 2015. The L.A. Police Department turned over the results of their investigation to the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office just last week, and they are now deliberating on whether or not to charge Cosby criminally.
“I decided to come public and come forward and relive everything that happened to me-- because of the other women,” said Goins, “all the other women that have been abused by Mr. Cosby. And I would like to see justice for all of us."
Her lawyers now believe she has a valid claim to bring forward both criminal and civil action against Cosby.
“The statute in California's very clear,” said Kuven. “She has eight years after age of majority, eight years after turning 18 to bring her claim up until age 26. Chloe right now is 25 years old. So, she is, we believe, squarely within the statues of limitations."
Cosby’s attorneys told ABC News they had “no comment” on Goins’ civil suit. But earlier in January, a lawyer for Cosby said Cosby wasn’t in L.A. when the alleged incident occurred, saying in statement, “We will be providing documentary evidence to the appropriate authorities which conclusively establishes Mr. Cosby’s whereabouts on August 9 and for the preceding and succeeding days.”
Goins’ attorney says the disputed date was a false assumption.
“She has never publicly said that she was there on any specific date,” said Kuven. Goins’ civil suit comes on the heels as another accuser, Judy Huth, is making legal headway in the closed-door deposition lead by her attorney Gloria Allred on Friday.
“We are looking for accountability, and we are not going to stop until we get it,” said Allred who currently represents up to 26 accusers of Cosby, many of whom have allegations that fall out of the statutes of limitations.
“Many of the accusers, however, felt that of course even though it’s too late to pursue their lawsuits in a conventional court, it is not too late to pursue their accusations and make them in the court of public opinion.”
In September, over a dozen accusers spoke out in A&E’s documentary “Cosby: The Women Speak.” Several of the women interviewed alleged the comedian offered mentorship or career coaching, and that later Cosby assaulted or attempted to assault them, after they drank a beverage that, they, say, rendered them unconscious.
Among those interviewed was legendary supermodel Beverly Johnson, who said she was invited to Cosby’s brownstone to rehearse in the mid 80’s, when she was in her early 30’s.
“He said, ‘There's an exercise you do in method acting… You know, I want you to act like you're drunk,’” explained Johnson.
Next, she said, Cosby insisted she try a cappuccino.
“Immediately I felt woozy,” she said.
“Everything was spinning. And I was, you know, dizzy, and I knew I had been drugged. There's no doubt in my mind.”
“He puts one hand around my waist,” Johnson continues, “And I remember cocking my head and saying, "You're a mother******, aren't you?"
According to Johnson, Cosby escorted her out of the house and threw her into a taxi.
“I was so disappointed,” she said. “It was like a family member had done something to me…I knew that the kind of person I was dealing with would destroy me.”
“Even though there is no verdict yet in any civil case filed against him by any of the accusers. I think it's a fair conclusion that, in fact, in the court of public opinion he has lost that battle,” said Allred.
And it’s the many other women, who, Goins says, ultimately gave her the courage to come forward as well.
“I buried it for a long time,” said Goins. “And I'm not sure how I would've been able to come out if these brave women didn't come forward and find the strength to tell their story.”
Goins’ civil lawsuit also includes a list of 40 other Cosby accusers.
“We felt it was very important to give a voice to those victims, all 40 women that we were able to identify-- their voices, their stories-- and be able to talk to them in this litigation so that they can speak on the record for the first time,” said Kuven.
“I'm trying to heal myself from everything that's happened,” said Goins. “And coming out about it and speaking about it, it does help. It's been very hard.”
While she says speaking out has been empowering, Goins says she wants more.
“I feel he needs to see justice,” she said. “I'd like to see him behind bars for everything he's done.”
David Stricker(CINCINNATI) -- Two young cousins were found safe today, officials said, one day after they were reported missing from a campsite in eastern Kentucky.
The cousins, 5-year-old Michael Esposito and 7-year-old Adrian Ross, disappeared in the woods around 6 p.m. Thursday, while their fathers and grandfather were setting up for a family reunion at a campsite at the Red River Gorge, according to ABC affiliate WCPO-TV in Cincinnati.
Today, both boys were found alive and well, Kentucky State Trooper Joe Veeneman told ABC News. They were found by search and rescuers about 1 mile from the campsite, Veeneman said.
The boys were checked out, Veeneman said, but he did not have further information on their conditions.
According to WCPO-TV, the boys told their family that they weren't scared and they had fun.
The desperate search for the cousins began Thursday evening. Rescue crews, helicopters and hound dogs looked through the night, WCPO-TV said.
Once the sun rose, about 100 people joined the search on foot, Michael's mother, Julie Esposito, told WCPO-TV.
"I can't really afford to break down and be emotional because I needed to help answer questions and coordinate things," Esposito told WCPO-TV this morning. "We are going to bring them back.”
Friday afternoon, after the search had ended, Esposito told WCPO-TV that she knew the boys would be OK.
"It wasn't that cold last night and they were together, but I knew if it rained and they were out and if they spent a second night wet and cold it wouldn't be good. So I just kept praying," she said.
Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The deadly shooting at Northern Arizona University Friday morning was the 47th shooting to take place on a school campus so far this year, according to data collected by gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety.
Of those shootings, 26 were classified as attacks that resulted in injury or death.
The 21 remaining shootings were a mix of attempted or completed suicides, accidental shootings or instances in which a gun was fired at campus, including grade schools and colleges, but no one was injured.
The statistics show that even though some of this year's individual shootings, like that of Umpqua Community College in Oregon where 10 people died including the shooter, resulted in higher death counts than last year, the total number of shootings is slightly lower than it was at this point in 2014.
Compared to the 47 at this point, there were 50 shootings on school grounds by this time last year, 29 of which were attacks that resulted in injury or death, three more than this year, according to Everytown for Gun Safety data, which is based off news reports.
ABC News(MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn.) -- A Tennessee woman in prison for the murders of a young couple with whom she had been feuding online said she didn't want them to die.
"I went through a lot with them, but I never wished them dead. I never wanted them dead," Jenelle Potter, 34, told ABC News' 20/20 in an exclusive interview about the murders.
Watch the full story on ABC News' 20/20 Friday night at 10 p.m. ET.
Potter was found guilty in May of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder for the 2012 shooting deaths of Billie Jean Hayworth, 23, and Billy Payne, 36. Potter is serving two concurrent life sentences for the murders of the couple who were found in their Mountain City, Tennessee, home with single gunshot wounds to their faces.
Hayworth died while holding her 7-month-old baby boy. He survived unharmed, though he was found covered in blood.
Prosecutors believe Potter created a false online identity of a CIA agent named Chris, in a phenomenon known as "catfishing," to fool her parents and her boyfriend and to goad her father into killing Hayworth and Payne.
Potter had a crush on Payne and wanted him and Hayworth dead after they moved in together and had a child, according to prosecutors.
But Potter, who lived at home with her strict parents and spent most of her adult social life on social media, denies this. She said she was the victim of anonymous cyberbullying, some of which she believes came from Hayworth.
"I didn't hate [Hayworth and Payne]. I just disliked them. I wanted [them] to quit. I wanted the harassment to stop," Potter said.
Potter was once friendly with Payne in person, hanging out at barbecues and even going rappelling together. But a feud on social media erupted and, eventually, they deleted each other as friends on Facebook.
"I think that we did it to each other. I unfriended them. They unfriended me," Jenelle said. "I did Bill first and then I think Billie did me. And I unfriended her."
Police had a major breakthrough in their investigation of the murders after interviewing Potter's boyfriend, Jamie Curd, who admitted to being involved in the murders and told police that Jenelle Potter’s father, Marvin Potter, shot Hayworth and Payne to protect his daughter from what he perceived as an imminent threat?
Curd, who was Payne's cousin, also told police that he'd been text-messaging a man named Chris, who told him he was in the CIA and said his job was to protect Jenelle Potter from her enemies at all costs. After Marvin Potter, who is known as "Buddy," was arrested for the murders, he also told police his daughter's life was being threatened.
Jenelle Potter's mother, Barbara Potter, told 20/20 that “Chris” told her in emails that he was watching her family's every move and was monitoring what Payne and Hayworth were allegedly saying on social media about her daughter.
"He said he couldn't use his real name, his real identity," Barbara Potter said. "He was watching these people that he said were harassing her on the computer and calling her."
Jenelle Potter said of communicating with the supposed CIA agent Chris through email, "I thought he was someone that I was friends with in school. He said he was down here to protect me, protect my parents. He did different jobs. He had dogs."
"[My mom and Chris] would write emails all the time back and forth, and she would tell me about him,” she added. “And we were trying to figure out who he was. My dad even tried to meet him places, try to talk to him.”
Jenelle Potter said her father became more protective with her because of the alleged threats she was receiving.
But when police took a look at the computer they seized from the Potters' home, they learned the emails from the CIA agent “Chris “were all coming from an account that belonged to Jenelle Potter, and a review of the IP address confirmed that.
"Every one of them pointed straight back … to Barbara and Janelle's home address," Tennessee Bureau of Investigation special agent Scott Lott told 20/20.
Prosecutor Dennis Brooks told 20/20 that “social media allowed Jenelle Potter to be someone that she wasn't. When she invented Chris, she could assume a different identity and be as hateful as she wanted to be."
But Jenelle Potter said Chris was using her email to protect his identity.
"I emailed him through my email, and I said, you know, 'How'd you get my screenname, password?' I changed my password lots of times. I've done everything. Nothing ever showed up in my sent box," Jenelle Potter said.
When they impounded Marvin Potter's truck, police also found several plastic bags of shredded emails that an agent put back together. In one of them, Barbara Potter was communicating with “Chris” and sounded like she wanted Payne and Hayworth dead.
"We've had enough. No one wants to kill anyone but we will," Barbara Potter wrote in the email.
Agent Lott said, "Barbara would take this information and show it to Buddy: 'Buddy, look, look what they're trying to do to Jenelle.' And, finally, they just pushed him to his limit where he couldn't take it anymore.”
Armed with evidence that he believed proved the entire family was involved, prosecutors also charged Barbara Potter and Jenelle Potter in the killings.
"Barbara and Janelle share the responsibility. I think they would be called masterminds. Janelle kind of spurred it. Barbara got it to happen," agent Lott said.
Jenelle Potter's defense attorney Cameron Hyder said, "Jenelle Potter operates on the level of an 8- or 9-year-old.”
"She may be on a fourth-grade level, but she has a Ph.D. in manipulation," Brooks, the prosecutor, said.
Barbara Potter is serving two concurrent life sentences for first degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, while Marvin Potter is also serving two consecutive life sentences after being convicted in October 2013 of the murders. Curd took a plea deal of 25 years in prison.
"I love my daughter. I love my husband, but I would not sit here and lie for them," Barbara Potter said.
Said Jenelle Potter: "I didn't murder anyone.”
Marvin Potter, Barbara Potter and Jenelle Potter are all planning to appeal their convictions.
Midway through her interview with 20/20, Jenelle Potter shut down in tears and walked out back to her cell.
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- More pizza rats were found on a subway track in New York City -- and it was caught on video.
The video taken Thursday night at the 14th Street station shows a rodent, who very well may be the original Pizza Rat, carrying yet again, another fresh slice twice its size.
But a second rat can be seen scurrying up to the other rodent, snatches the slice and backs away.
The second rat appears to be the victor, but just a few moments later, our underdog Pizza Rat appears again! The rats then engage in a tug-of-war fight and gets the slice back before the video ends.
"I win today, interwebs," wrote Jonathen Liu in the caption of his video on Instagram.
The original Pizza Rat rose to Internet fame when another subway rider captured video of the rodent carrying a slice of pizza twice its size down a set of stairs at the First Avenue L train station in the city's East Village.
(FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.) — A fight that broke out between two groups of students at Northern Arizona University’s Flagstaff campus left one person dead and three hospitalized after one of the students shot the others with a handgun.
The shooter has been identified as Steven Jones, an 18-year-old freshman at the school, who has been taken into custody by campus police, according to NAU police chief Greg Fowler.
Colin Brough has been identified by the school as the student who was killed in the incident, and Nicholas Prato, Kyle Zientek and Nicholas Piring were named as the individuals who were shot but are being treated at Flagstaff Medical Center.
Fowler said that the altercation started at 1:20 a.m. when "several of our students, two separate student groups got into a confrontation."
Campus police arrived at the scene and apprehended Jones "without further trouble," Fowler said.
It is unclear what sparked the shooting, which took place near Mountain View Hall, a dormitory that houses most of the campus' students involved in Greek organizations.
Fowler said that none of the violence happened inside any residence halls.
Fowler said that the school's alert messaging was sent out "rather quickly," but a student who was in the audience at the news conference Friday morning told Fowler that he received the text alert at 2:52 a.m., more than an hour and a half after the shooting. Fowler said that "sometimes it takes us a little bit of time to stabilize the information,” but added that the text was "a precautionary measure" as opposed to one telling students to actively take cover.
Fowler noted that the Arizona Board of Regents prohibits students form carrying guns around campus but students are allowed to store them in their car.
The state school's Flagstaff campus has more than 20,000 students enrolled.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., released the following statement Friday morning:
"My thoughts and prayers are with families of the person who was killed and the three others who were wounded in the horrific shooting on the campus of Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff early this morning. I appreciate the efforts of all state and local law enforcement officials, first-responders and school administrators, and continue to pray for the recovery of the injured, as well as all those in the NAU community who have been impacted by this terrible tragedy."
John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images(SACRAMENTO, Calif.) -- Spencer Stone, a member of the U.S. Air Force who helped stop a terrorist attack on a Paris-bound train this August, is awake and in good spirits Friday after he was stabbed in California early Thursday, officials said.
Officials at the UC Davis Medical Center, where Stone is currently being treated, said Friday that his condition was upgraded from serious to fair.
"He is awake, able to get out of bed and in good spirits. He is continuing to recover," the hospital said in a statement.
Stone underwent surgery Thursday after suffering three stab wounds to the torso, officials said. Dr. J. Douglas Kirk, the medical director at UCDMC, said Thursday that Stone was expected to make a full recovery.
Stone, 23, was "involved in a stabbing incident" in Sacramento, California, early Thursday morning, according to an Air Force spokesperson.
The Sacramento Police said "it is believed that Stone was out with a group of friends when a physical altercation led to him being stabbed multiple times in his upper body. Immediately after the assault the assailants fled the scene."
"The assault does not appear to be a random act and is believed to be a nightlife related incident," the police added, noting the incident is under investigation by local law enforcement.
This summer, Stone was traveling on board a train heading to Paris with two friends when the train came under attack by a gunman. Stone and his friends confronted the gunman, helping stop the attack.
Stone later said in an interview released by the Pentagon that he remembered thinking "I'm going to get shot, I'm dead."
Stone had surgery to reattach his thumb after it was cut off with a box cutter by the train attacker.
iStock/Thinkstock(CLEVELAND) -- A recently released video from a police officer's body camera reveals the tense minutes that led up to officers in Cleveland fatally shooting an armed man in his home.
In a statement released Tuesday, the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office said that the March 11 shooting death of Theodore Johnson, 64, was "justified" and that the four officers involved in the shooting had been cleared.
"The evidence is indisputable," the statement said.
In a detailed letter to the Cleveland police chief, prosecutor Timothy McGinty said that Johnson had been drinking on March 11 and had threatened to shoot his wife and their landlady.
When Johnson fell asleep, the letter said, his wife went to a police station to report the incident. McGinty said that six officers had gone to the home.
Body camera video, worn by one of the officers, showed Johnson shooting at and hitting Officer David Muniz as the cops climbd a set of stairs in the house. Muniz was wearing a protective vest.
"I've been hit," Muniz said on the video.
Despite being shot at -- and having a bullet lodged in his vest -- Muniz spent 90 seconds trying to get Johnson to drop the gun.
"Go ahead and shoot me," Johnson said in the body-camera video.
"No, we're not going to shoot you," Muniz said. "I know you shot me but I’m not going to shoot you."
When Johnson raised his gun toward the officers, McGinty said, he was shot. According to McGinty, Muniz was not one of the shooters. The prosecutor's office said that the evidence had been investigated by the sheriff's department as well as presented to a grand jury.
In the letter to the police chief, McGinty said: "In light of these events, these officers were justified in their use of deadly force because Mr. Johnson posed an immediate and continuing threat to the lives of the officers and innocent citizens. ... The officers were left without a reasonable alternative. ... This case is closed."
Digital Vision/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — NASA has released a long-range report detailing its ambitions for sending astronauts to live on Mars, along with the obstacles the space agency will have to tackle to make reaching the Red Planet in the 2030s a reality.
"There are challenges to pioneering Mars, but we know they are solvable. We are developing the capabilities necessary to get there, land there, and live there," the NASA report said, noting the plan relies on an "evolutionary, resilient framework."
The 36-page report, which includes the items on NASA's to-do list, at times reads like something out of a science fiction novel. While the ambitious Apollo program of the 1960s took astronauts on a brief visit to the moon, NASA said the Mars mission will be different. “We will be going to stay," the report said.
With a crewed round-trip voyage lasting more than 1,000 days, NASA has outlined its plans for the health and safety of astronauts, along with the logistics for landing, living and working on Mars.
"These technological and operational challenges fall into three categories: transportation, sending humans and cargo through space efficiently, safely, and reliably; working in space, enabling productive operations for crew and robotic systems; and staying healthy, developing habitation systems that provide safe, healthy, and sustainable human exploration," the report said. The Vessel
NASA's testing will include the Orion space capsule, which during a return to Earth would need to withstand scorching temperatures. The SLS heavy lift rocket, which will help send Orion beyond low-Earth orbit, will also be put to the test in the coming years. Asteroid Redirect Mission
NASA wants to relocate a piece of an asteroid and tow it into orbit around the moon as part of a test of new technologies that could be used on a manned mission to Mars. During the five-year Asteroid Redirect Mission, NASA will pluck a rock from an asteroid and haul it into orbit around Earth's moon.
In 2025, the space agency said it would then send two astronauts inside the Orion space capsule to explore the mini-asteroid, gaining more insight into robotic grabbing technologies, soft landings and allow astronauts to test suits that could be used for a deep space mission. Landing on Mars
NASA calls entry, descent and landing one of its "biggest challenges" in planning the mission to Mars.
A braking system called "supersonic retropropulsion," which operates at speeds faster than the speed of sound may be needed in order to provide astronauts with a safe and precise descent onto the surface of Mars, the report said. Well-Being of Astronauts
Going to Mars is of course a risk, since crewed missions won't be able to quickly return to Earth if a system fails.
"As crewed missions extend farther from Earth for longer periods, the habitation systems must become more reliable for safe, healthy, and sustainable human exploration," the report said.
The challenges NASA will have to solve include how to send crews with enough food, clothing and other supplies to make sure they're covered during a deep space mission. Mitigating potential health issues will also be another task NASA will have to tackle in the next two decades.
Long-term missions in micro-gravity can potentially cause bone loss, atrophy, vision issues and other health problems, according to NASA. Finding a way to keep astronauts' radiation exposure to a minimum once they leave Earth's magnetic field will also be a challenge.
"Outside the Earth’s magnetic field, crew and electronics are exposed to high-energy particles, including infrequent, but potentially deadly, solar particle events and constant exposure to galactic cosmic rays. These high-energy particles can reduce immune response, increase cancer risk, and interfere with electronics," the report said. Cost
NASA hasn't yet put a price tag on the plan, however, the report notes near-term projects can be funded with existing budgets, while long-term efforts can be funded by future "budgets commensurate with economic growth."
Suffolk County District Attorney(BOSTON) — A Boston nanny accused of allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from the family that employed her now faces federal bank fraud charges, authorities said.
Stephanie Fox, 30, worked for Grace Heintz, a partner at Bain&Co., from February 2013 until this past August. In that time, court records said, she allegedly took checks from Heintz and her husband and “wrote them payable to herself, forged signatures and cashed them.”
In all, the family said it discovered Fox had forged 65 checks totaling more than $280,000. She told the FBI she used the money to buy jewelry, including a diamond pendant necklace and Movado watches, travel — including trips to the Bahamas, Aruba, Hawaii, Newport, Cape Cod and Disney — as well as a down payment on a new truck.
When confronted, Fox confessed, authorities said.
“This was done on impulse,” she wrote, “as a way to support a lifestyle that was beyond my means.”
Fox told the family she loved the children and did nothing to harm them.
Defense attorney Joseph Perullo told ABC News that Fox has been in and out of court since 2011 for passing bad checks. He blamed it on a mental disorder.
“She has a spending compulsion,” Perullo said of his client. “Some issue she has mentally to want to acquire things beyond her means. It’s very irrational behavior that’s not sustainable.”
Fox made her initial court appearance this week and is out on certain conditions, including that she seek mental health counseling.
No new court date has been set.
Perullo said they’re trying to resolve the case before she is formally indicted.
Fox used Care.com to gain employment. In a statement, the company said, “We are deeply disturbed by this incident and feel terrible about what this family has experienced. This incident underscores the importance of the safety process we recommend on our site, which includes conducting an internet search, having phone and in-person interviews, checking references, running a background check, and continuing to monitor the situation once someone has been hired. All of these safety tools are critical to forming a more complete picture and making more informed hiring choices."
Courtesy Jill Gageby(ORION TOWNSHIP, Mich.) — After a Michigan football team had their meals paid for at a Michigan restaurant, they decided to "pay it forward."
It all started on Tuesday when a group of six Lake Orion High School football players were dining at Iris Café in Orion Township. A man decided to cover their bill, which was around $80, restaurant owner Jill Gageby told ABC News Friday.
“The guy told us to say ‘God bless them’ so we made sure we told them and they were like ‘no, God bless him,’” Gageby said, also adding that the man made a comment that these football players looked like nice boys and told the staff he wished to remain anonymous.
"I was just so appreciative that someone would pay for a group of young kids when they had no idea who we were," Lake Orion football player Ryan Kolp told ABC News. "Deciding to pay it forward was just in response to the generosity expressed by one person and the sense of wanting to express our appreciation and happiness to another person."
To express that appreciation, the six young men decided to do the same for other customers. They each handed money to the waitress to put towards a table's bill the next morning, football player Taylor McCarty said.
"The funny thing is we did not do it to be recognized, just to return the favor," McCarty added. "It was so awesome to hear that our small act of kindness resulted in another 30 people paying it forward."
In addition the the 30 people continuing the trend the following day, even more than 30 contributed to the jar that the restaurant staff was using to pay customer bills Thursday.
“Everyone was shocked when we would tell them their bill was paid and they would keep leaving more money,” said Gageby. “It feels great to be part of a community that’s so willing to pay it forward.”
This happens about once a week, Gageby said, but it has never happened on this large of a scale. It was the story of the six football players that “had such an effect” on everybody.
"Hearing about what they did doesn't surprise me. They're all great young men," football coach Chris Bell said of his players. "They are great role models as student athletes."
Gageby added: “We were just really proud of them."
iStock/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) — A California mother was convicted of second-degree murder Thursday in the 2012 shooting death of her husband.
Julie Harper, 42, cried after the jury announced its verdict. The jury reached its decision after five hours of deliberating.
A judge declared a mistrial last year after a different jury was deadlocked on whether to convict Harper in the killing of her husband Jason, a high school math teacher and volleyball coach. They have three children together.
In both trials, the Carlsbad mother of three took the stand, telling the jury her husband was verbally and physically abusive.
She admitted to killing Jason, but claimed it was self-defense.
The gun used to kill Jason Harper has never been recovered.
During the trial, jurors test-fired a handgun similar to the one Harper says she used in the shooting. The handgun requires 10 pounds of pressure to fire, according to a firearms expert.
San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Keith Watanabe said Harper’s account of the shooting didn’t add up.
“The jury was able to see through Julie Harper’s lies,” Watanabe said.
Her attorney, Paul Joseph Pfingst, expressed disappointment in the jury’s findings.
“I think we’re still in a place where there are preconceptions about how a battered wife should behave, and if she doesn’t behave that way. … I think that’s something that is difficult to explain to people still,” Pfingst said.
Harper faces 40 years to life in prison. Her sentencing is scheduled for November.
iStock/Thinkstock(CLEVELAND) -- Five-month-old Aavielle Wakefield -- who was shot to death in Cleveland earlier this month -- was laid to rest on Thursday, with her heartbroken family crying as they walked behind her tiny, white coffin on the way to her gravesite.
On the night of Oct. 1, Aavielle was in her car seat riding with family when shots rang out. A bullet tore through the car door and into her chest.
Her grandmother frantically called 911, trying to get help, saying: “I need the police. I need an ambulance. Someone is shooting at our car, and they shot the baby!" But it was too late.
Aavielle was the third child under age six fatally shot in Cleveland in just over a month -– a 5-year-old and 3-year-old were also killed in drive-by shootings.Police Chief Calvin Williams says these kids are innocent victims in the epidemic of murders plaguing that city.
Cleveland’s murder rate has jumped 27 percent from last year. And Cleveland is not unique. Major cities like Baltimore, Houston, Washington, DC and Dallas are all experiencing double-digit spikes in homicide this year, and too often, officials say, the very young are caught in the crossfire.
In the days since her murder, media coverage and police statements have helped make Aavielle into something of a symbol of the young, innocent victims of gun violence in Cleveland. Her murder brought Williams to tears.
“Our babies are caught in the crossfire,” Williams said. “When are we going to stop counting dead babies out there on the street?”
FBI statistics show that from 2010 through 2013, firearm homicides took the lives of 439 children under the age of 12. The total rises to 1,437 when you add people from age 12-16. These are the latest stats available, and don’t reflect the sudden spike in homicides in major cities in 2015.
Chicago U.S. Attorney Zach Fardon spoke passionately about how young people are being cut down in his city late last month.
“These are our kids. These are our neighborhoods,” Fardon said. “This problem hits the heart of who we are, and who we want to be, as a city. We cannot abide our Chicago being one where it’s okay for kids to die and entire neighborhoods to cocoon in fear.”
Fardon, Williams and other law enforcement officials blame a resurgence of violent gangs on city streets for much of the violence. Williams said that social media disputes, turf battles, drug disputes and personal vendettas often spark drive-by shootings, like the one that killed Aavielle.
“This should not be happening in our city,” Williams said. “We’ve got to do something about it.”