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Man fatally sucker punched over slice of pizza, police say

Police say Nathan Marshall, 28, admitted to fatally punching a San Antonio man over a slice of pizza, court documents filed Thursday showed.

The assault occurred around 2 a.m. Sunday and resulted in the death of 33-year-old Air Force veteran Marques Johnson.

>> Read more trending news

“Marshall stated that (Johnson) smashed pizza out of a white male’s hands,” the detectives wrote in the affidavit supporting the Marshall’s arrest warrant. “Marshall stated (Johnson) came back and so he sucker punched (Johnson)... one time and (Johnson) fell down.”

Marshall was in the Travis County Jail on charges of manslaughter and unrelated charge of assault on a public servant. He is being held on a combined $150,000 bail.

According the affidavit, Johnson and his wife were on Sixth Street early Sunday morning celebrating a friend’s birthday. One witness told officers that Johnson “bumped into someone” and was then punched by a man she later identified as Marshall.

A second witness reported to detectives that an unidentified man threw “a piece of pizza” at Johnson, which prompted him to turn around and ask who threw the pizza.

At that point, the witness told police, Johnson was punched and hit the ground. The second witness later identified Marshall as the attacker, the affidavit said.

Both witnesses told police Johnson was knocked unconscious by the one blow, according to court documents. 

Officers said their case against Marshall was buttressed by a tipster’s video of the moments immediately after the punch that showed Marshall walking backwards and away from Johnson’s body, which lay on the street.

Medics quickly arrived at the scene and rushed Johnson to Dell Seton Medical Center downtown, where he died Monday afternoon.

Detectives found Marshall already been booked into the Travis County Jail on an unrelated charge after police accused him of assaulting a security guard at Dell Seton -- the same hospital that treated Johnson.

According to the affidavit, Marshall was identified by witnesses after police released surveillance footage of the suspect Wednesday.

Marshall’s criminal record includes five arrests related to violent behavior. In 2009 and 2010, he was arrested on separate domestic violence charges, for which he pleaded guilty and was convicted, arrested and convicted in 2014 of making a terroristic threat; and once again in 2016 for harassing a public servant.

Johnson’s widow, Ashley, posted on Facebook Wednesday that she found comfort and support from their young son.

“You led our marriage by putting our family first and you were always there to greet me with a warm hug after a long day. Our life together was the best four years anyone could've given me,” she wrote. “I'm begging you,” she added, “please come haunt me every now and then. (...) I love you babe, always and forever.”

The Air Force veteran, she told friends, made sure his organs would be donated to help others. 

Statesman reporter Anusha Lalani and Mark D. Wilson contributed to this report.

Florida mother wants man who knocked out her son's teeth jailed

A mother in Charlotte County said her 12-year-old son was punched in the face by a man on Wednesday, knocking out his front teeth and busting his lip.

Now she is upset and confused as to why the man was not arrested, WFTX reports.

“When I realized my teeth were dangling in my mouth it was kind of shocking, I didn't know what was going on," the boy told WFTX.

Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office deputies said that Vicent Cerfalo, 27, is the man who hit the boy, WFTX reports. Cerfalo told WFTX that the incident happened when he yelled at the boy and a group of children to get out of the road because they were blocking traffic.

“I told them to back off and if they come on my property, I'm going to defend myself. They said, 'You won't hit us, you won't hit us,' and they started to surround me," Cerfalo told WFTX.

Cell phone video shows the moment the boy got punched in the face, but Cerfalo said he acted out of self defense when the boy touched him.

“It was not my intention to hit anybody that hard, it was not my intention to knock teeth out or do harm, or cause any kind of trouble,” Cerfalo told WFTX.

Cerfalo said he plans to press charges against the 12-year-old, but the children said he was never touched during the incident.

The Sheriff’s Office said the “best course of action” was to hand the case over to the state attorney’s office “due to conflicting witness statements,” WFTX reports.

Soul singer Charles Bradley dead at 68

Late-blooming soul singer Charles Bradley died Saturday in Brooklyn. He was 68.

Bradley was diagnosed with stomach cancer, which spread to his liver, according to NPR.

>> Read more trending news

Bradley released his debut album “No Time For Dreaming” at 62, with the 1960s soul revival label, Daptone Records.

"Charles was truly grateful for all the love he's received from his fans and we hope his message of love is remembered and carried on," a statement from the record label read.

Bradley performed between odd jobs throughout most of his life. He moved back to New  York’s Brooklyn borough in his 40s and was singing as a James Brown impersonator known as Black Velvet when he was discovered by the record label.

"It took 62 years for somebody to find me,” Bradley told NPR when his first album was released. “But I thank God. Some people never get found."

Trump continues railing against protesting NFL, NBA players

Outrage from some of the country's top athletes isn't enough to sway President Donald Trump after he rescinded Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry’s invitation to the White House and used incendiary language talking about NFL players who peacefully protest during games.

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Trump generated controversy early Saturday with Curry after the former NBA MVP said he had no intention of visiting the White House after his team won this year’s NBA championship. Trump responded that Curry wasn’t invited anyway.

At a political rally in Alabama Friday night, Trump called out NFL players who were protesting by sitting out the national anthem, saying that he would love to see an NFL owner “get that(expletive) off the field.”

In the time since, Trump has been called out by athletes across the NFL and the NBA, who expressed their frustrations with the president. Trump was not swayed, however, as he continued tweeting against protesting players Saturday afternoon.

"If a player wants the privilege of making millions of dollars in the NFL, or other leagues, he or she should not be allowed to disrespect our Great American Flag (or Country) and should stand for the National Anthem," Trump tweeted later Saturday. "If not, YOU’RE FIRED. Find something else to do!"

Megyn Kelly’s getting ready for new morning show, hopes for a Trump-free zone

Megyn Kelly says she left Fox News Channel to bring more joy to her life. NBC hopes that starting Monday, she can spread some to the network and its viewers.

The former Fox News Channel star and Donald Trump foil debuts her talk show at 9 a.m. EDT, nestled into the four-hour “Today” show block and competing in most of the country with Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest’s “Live!”

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Kelly hosted a Sunday-night newsmagazine this summer to middling ratings, and it returns next spring. It’s the daily talk show, in the lucrative morning market, that will ultimately determine the wisdom of NBC News’ decision to hire her. She promises that “Megyn Kelly Today,” shown live with a studio audience, will be an information-packed hour with a sense of fun.

“It will be very similar to the ‘Today’ show, but we’re going to have a lot more elbow room,” she said in an interview.

Ellen DeGeneres initiated Kelly into daytime TV this week by having her awkwardly toss pizza dough, stuff herself into a fat suit and dance with the audience; Kelly smiled and played along. It was a long way from her Fox life of pressing the future president at debates, enduring his Twitter taunts and being the ringleader for an hour of politics each weeknight.

>> Related: Taron Hall developing new daytime show after leaving ‘Today’

The Trump trauma wasn’t why she left Fox, Kelly said. She compared it to her decision to abandon law to become a journalist and ending her first marriage: they weren’t bad experiences, but she knew there was something better.

The truth, Kelly said, is that she’s not a political junkie and cable television news is all about politics.

“I don’t want to talk about Trump all day,” she said. “In fact, the bar is very high for Trump coverage (on ‘Megyn Kelly Live’). If you want Trump, you can watch virtually every channel in the country and get Trump non-stop. I think people are looking for a break from that. Not just Trump, it’s inside the Beltway. I don’t want to talk about Mitch McConnell either, or Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi.”

Live! With Kelly and Ryan” is a celebrity- and entertainment-oriented talk show. Kelly said her program will be uplifting and more substantive: recent trial runs had segments on reacting to the Equifax breach and protecting yourself from attack. Mental health, bullying, coping with divorce and tips for job interviews are the type of topics she’ll cover.

Not news, but not fluff, either.

Trying to imitate the formula of “Live!” would be a huge mistake given its success over decades, said Bill Carroll, a consultant and expert on the daytime TV market.

>> Related: ‘Clerks’ actress’s cause of death revealed four months after her passing

Name recognition, a consistent time slot across the country that makes the show easier to promote, and affiliation with the well-established “Today’ brand give Kelly some advantages, he said.

Read more here.

French nanny’s burned body discovered in backyard, wealthy couple charged

A wealthy European couple is accused of killing their nanny and burning her body in their backyard.

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Sabrina Kouider, 34, and her boyfriend, Ouissem Medouni, 40, allegedly killed their 21-year-old French nanny, Sophie Lionnet, and are charged with her murder, police said.

A passerby noticed a foul smell and smoke coming from the couple’s home and called the police. Upon investigation, authorities discovered a charred corpse in the backyard on Friday. Though the body was badly burned, local residents identified the victim as Lionnet, the Daily Mail reported.

An 8-year-old boy made the gruesome discovery when he climbed a wall outside the couples $1.2 million London mansion and noticed a huge bonfire, investigators said. Lionnet’s friends said the nanny, who lived in the house, was paid only $60 a month. She was reportedly very unhappy and apparently planned to go home, even buying a plane ticket, but never arrived.

Neighbors told police they had not seen Lionnet in several weeks.

Kouider is the former girlfriend of Irish music mogul Mark Walton, who founded the boy band Boyzone.

Lionnet lived with the couple for just over a year and cared for two children, ages 3 and 6.

>> Related: Accused of a bizarre murder, boyfriend takes stand to re-enact how he found body

Police believe the murder happened sometime around Sept. 20, but have not released any possible motive for the crime.

Mosquitos carrying Zika, other deadly viruses, could breed in much of U.S., CDC says 

Up to 75 percent of the contiguous United States may provide suitable conditions for several species of disease-spreading mosquitoes according to a new study by CDC researchers.

>> Read more trending news

The recent study, published in the Public Journal of Entomology, found 71 percent of counties in the 48 contiguous states were suitable for the aegypti species and 75 percent could support albopictus species.

Researchers found that the dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses in particular represented a “growing public health threat in parts of the United States where they are established,” according to the journal’s report.

>> Related: Zika virus: What’s the big deal? A lot. Here’s what you need to know

The maps show the CDC’s “best estimate” of potential ranges of where Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus mosquitoes could survive and reproduce if introduced. The maps do not show where the mosquitoes are currently nor where there is a risk of transmission, Rebecca Eisen, a research biologist with the CDC, said in a statement. 

“In other words, these maps show areas where CDC predicts Aedes aegypti and albopictus mosquitoes could survive and reproduce if introduced to an area during the months when mosquitoes are locally active,” Eisen told the publication.

Temperature is a key factor. If there were just one day in winter on average when the temperature exceeds 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the chances that the area would be suitable for mosquitoes increased. Areas with consistently cold temperatures, however, have reduced chances that the insects’ eggs would sustain through the winter, specifically for aegypti, according to Eisen. Rainfall had a significant influence on albopictus, as it relies more on water courses filled by rainwater to lay its eggs than aegypti.

The maps will help health professionals monitor for signs of the mosquitoes.

“Surveillance efforts can be focused in counties where Aedes aegypti and albopictus could survive and reproduce if introduced to an area during the months when mosquitoes are locally active or at least survive during summer months if introduced,” Eisen said. 

>> Related” Millions of bacteria-infected mosquitoes to be unleashed in California to fight Zika

The CDC suggested taking the following steps to avoid mosquitoes and potential disease:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers
  • Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens
  • Use insect repellents approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, treating clothing with an insecticide, permethrin.

Teacher accused of gambling away $90,000; thousands stolen from homecoming fund

A Michigan high school teacher is accused of gambling away thousands of dollars from a school fund used for activities like the annual homecoming dance.

>> Read more trending news

Dakota High School teacher Lydia Johnson, 29, the school’s student activities coordinator, was entrusted with the funds collected from school events, which was supposed to be used for class activities, like dances and class trips.

Authorities said Johnson’s gambling addiction prevented her from effectively financing her pupils’ endeavors. Instead of buying materials for homecoming floats, for example, the educator was pumping money into the slot machines at the MGM Grand in Detroit, the Detroit Free Press reported

In a press release, Macomb County prosecutor Eric Smith said investigators found receipts from the casino next to empty envelopes that should have contained thousands of dollars from homecoming ticket sales.

Smith noted that ticket sales for the homecoming dance totaled nearly $30,000, but said Johnson only deposited $11,000 into the school’s account.

The teacher finally came under scrutiny when she reportedly paid a camp only $500 for a school trip that cost thousands. When camp staff called the district about the discrepancy, officials began an internal investigation.

Johnson was placed on administrative leave in May when officials first opened the investigation.

>> Related High school teacher in trouble after giving students a ‘purity’ quiz on sex, drugs

Investigators also said that records from the MGM Grand show the teacher spent over $90,000 on penny slots in 2016.

Her gambling addiction also took a toll on her personal life - Johnson reportedly emptied her bank account to feed her habit.

Fla. Woman Wants 100 Hand Written Cards for 100th Birthday

Fla. Woman Wants 100 Hand Written Cards for 100th Birthday

Roger Goodell calls Trump’s attack on NFL players’ protests ‘divisive’

National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell has called President Donald Trump’s comments on NFL players’ national anthem protests, “divisive.”

>> Read more trending news

"The NFL and our players are at our best when we help create a sense of unity in our country and our culture,” Goodell said in a statement Saturday morning.

“There is no better example than the amazing response from our clubs and players to the terrible natural disasters we've experienced over the last month," he said.

Trump, speaking at a political rally in Alabama Friday night, used profane language while calling on the NFL to fire players protesting racial injustice by kneeling during the national anthem.

“Wouldn’t you love one of the NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a (expletive) off the field right now? Out. He’s fired!’” Trump said.

Goodell said Trump’s comments show an ignorance of what the NFL stands for and what it means to be a football player.

"Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities," the commissioner said.

Trump also blamed the protests for lower NFL ratings this season, contending that they have negatively affected the game.

>> Related: Donald Trump says NFL national anthem protesters should be ‘off the field’ and fired

Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick first started kneeling during the national anthem last year to protest police violence against minorities. Since then other NFL players have joined in the protests, and players in other sports have, too.

 

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