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Houston man fatally shoots 3 during home invasion, police say

Three men were fatally shot and a fourth man was hospitalized after a home invasion early Saturday in Houston, KPRC reported.

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According to police, four men forced their way into an east Houston home around 1 a.m. The homeowner grabbed his gun and shot all four men, KHOU reported. 

One man died in front of the house, while one wounded man fled on foot, KPRC reported. The other two men fled in an SUV but crashed into a pole, the television station reported.

One man was found dead in the vehicle, while the other man left the SUV but collapsed. He later died at the hospital, KPRC reported.

The surviving suspect was shot in the leg, police said. He is expected to survive, the television station reported.

The homeowner was not injured and was being questioned by police, KHOU reported.

Tennessee store clerk accused of tampering with lottery tickets

A Tennessee woman is accused of “slightly scratching” lottery tickets at the convenience store when she worked and then selling them to unsuspecting customers, WATE reported.

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Delany Ann Schaffer, 27, allegedly tampered with the bonus box on lottery tickets at the Ken Jo Market in Powell and then placed them back into the display case, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. She kept the winning tickets, the newspaper reported, citing an arrest warrant.

Schaffer was arrested Thursday and is being held at the Roger D. Wilson Detention Facility in lieu of $10,000 bond, the newspaper reported.

A Tennessee Lottery inspector said he received a tip from a customer who bought tickets and noticed they had been tampered with, WATE reported.

Surveillance video from the store confirmed Schaffer tampered with tickets several times, WATE reported. The ticket scratching took place from Dec. 31 to Jan. 3, the News Sentinel reported.

Tampering with lottery tickets is a Class C felony in Tennessee. If convicted, Schaffer could be sent to prison up to 15 years and could be fined up to $100,000, the newspaper reported.

Police: Man arrested after demanding drugs at North Carolina CVS store

North Carolina police are investigating at the scene of an alleged armed robbery at a CVS store in Catawba County that ended with a chase to another county.

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The robbery happened just before 9 p.m. Friday when a man demanded drugs at the drugstore, located south of Hickory. 

Police said the man threatened the employees, saying that he had a gun. 

Deputies spotted the getaway car and chased the suspect into Cleveland County, where one man was taken into custody. 

Officials said there were no injuries.

Texas day care center probed after video shows worker pulling child's hair

A Texas day care center is under investigation after a video showing a worker pulling a toddler’s hair went viral, KCBD reported.

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The video was posted to social media Thursday and involved a worker and a child at My Little Playhouse Learning Center in Lubbock, the television station reported. 

Police investigators, who are referring the case to prosecutors on possible assault charges, said the video was recorded Dec. 26. However, the child’s parents were unaware of the recording until it hit social media, KCBD reported.

The video shows an employee at the day care center grabbing a young child by the hair as the girl tried to stand up, the television station reported.

The person recording the video can be heard laughing and making fun of another child, KCBD reported.

"They had no apology," the child’s mother told KTRK. "They had no reason they did not call me. Like I said, everything hit the fan and it's like they just had nothing to say."

The two employees involved in the incident were fired, day care officials told the television station.

Wisconsin woman accused of embezzling lunch money from school district

A Wisconsin woman is accused of embezzling more than $10,000 from school lunch accounts -- and possibly more -- over a five-year period, WISN reported.

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The Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office on Wednesday charged Jennifer Dettmann, 48, of Kewaskum, of taking money while employed with Taher Inc., a food service vendor. Dettmann served as the Brown Deer School District's food service director from April 2008 to January 2016, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

During a police interview, the criminal complaint states Dettmann admitted to taking money, WISN reported. Prosecutors said Dettmann was not sure of the exact amount but believed it to be approximately $50,000, the television station reported.

According to the criminal complaint, Dettmann would input e-funds, checks, and a portion of the cash received into the proper system, and then would take the second batch of cash for herself, WISN reported.

Dettmann is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 30, the Journal Sentinel reported.

New Jersey man convicted in 2016 murder of estranged wife

A New Jersey man was convicted Friday of murdering his estranged wife inside her home while their 12-year-old son watched, the Daily Journal reported.

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Jeremiah E. Monell, 34, was accused of stabbing Tara O’Shea-Watson, 35, nearly 90 times at her home on Dec. 18, 2016, NJ.com reported. O’Shea-Watson suffered stab wounds to her neck, chest and stomach during the attack, the website reported.

Monell faces a mandatory sentence of life without parole, according to the Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office. Monell is scheduled to be sentenced March 1, the Daily Journal reported.

Testimony showed that the knives Monelli used were found behind a kitchen stove and one of them had his palm print, the newspaper reported.

According to NJ.com, the child testified he watched from his bedroom as his father choked and stabbed his mother before telling the sobbing boy, “You shouldn’t have seen that.”

According to trial testimony, Monell moved out of the home in April 2016 after a domestic violence incident, the Daily Journal reported. He was arrested two weeks after the crime in Atlantic County, NJ.com reported.

Monell rejected a plea deal in October, where he would have served 30 years to life imprisonment, the website reported. He now faces a mandatory life sentence without parole.

Police: 2 people found dead in vehicle after shots fired near Tacoma Mall

Police are investigating after two people were found dead in a vehicle in a Washington state parking lot Friday evening.

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At about 5 p.m., officers responded to reports of shots fired in near the Tacoma Mall. Gunshots were reported coming from a vehicle in the parking lot. 

Police said when they arrived at the scene, they went to the vehicle and saw two people who appeared to have gunshot wounds and were unresponsive. 

Fire officials said the two people were pronounced dead. 

The investigation is ongoing.

Former Utah State football player convicted of sexual assault 

A former Utah State University football player was convicted of sexually assaulting six women while he was in college, The Utah Statesman reported.

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Torrey Green, 25, who played linebacker at the university, was found guilty of five counts of rape, one count of forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape, the newspaper reported. The charges stemmed from allegations between 2013 and 2015.Green was found not guilty of one count of forcible sexual abuse, one count of object rape and one count of aggravated kidnapping. The jury found him not guilty of one count of forcible sexual abuse, but guilty of a lesser charge of sexual battery, the Statesman reported.

“There were convictions for all six of these survivors,” Deputy Cache County Attorney Spencer Walsh told reporters after the verdicts were read. “We’re very happy about that. They were believed.”

A jury comprised of five men and three women deliberated for 13 hours before reaching a verdict, the Statesman reported.

Green faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced March 27, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

 

Iowa mayor, husband accused of growing marijuana in basement 

The mayor of a central Iowa town and her husband are accused of running a marijuana-growing operation in the basement of their home, KCCI reported.

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LaDonna Kennedy, 50, who is the mayor of Jamaica, and her husband, Randy Kennedy, 58, were charged with manufacture with intent to deliver no more than 50 kilograms of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and two counts of failure to affix a drug stamp, the Des Moines Register reported.

They were released from jail Thursday, KCCI reported.

The couple was arrested Wednesday by Guthrie County deputies after authorities received a tip that Rodney Halterman, 18, who was wanted on a attempted murder charge in Story County, was hiding in their home, KCCI reported.

Halterman, the foster sibling of Randy Kennedy’s granddaughter, was involved in a fight in Ames on Jan. 13 when the gun he was holding went off and a bullet struck Iesha Jabbar, 19, in the chest, the television station reported.

Halterman was not at the Kennedys’ home when deputies arrived, the Register reported. He was later arrested in Greene County, according to KCCI.

Guthrie County deputies obtained a search warrant for the Kennedy home because they smelled an “overwhelming odor of raw marijuana” coming from the residence, KCCI reported.

Authorities found 18 marijuana plants, nine packages of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. Each package was estimated to contain between 4 and 5 ounces of marijuana, the television station reported.

"We all know each other in Guthrie County, so it was a surprise," Guthrie County Sheriff Marty Arganbright told KCCI.

Guthrie, located 55 miles northwest of Des Moines, has about 220 residents, the Register reported.

Under Iowa law, elected city officials convicted of felonies can be removed from office by a city council vote or by a judge, the newspaper reported. City council members are planning an emergency meeting to discuss the mayor’s future, KCCI reported.

"It's unreal that this would happen in a small town like this, with her being the mayor," Jamaica City Council member H.D. Meinecke Jr. told the television station.

Batman comic book collection worth $1.4M stolen from Florida storage unit

Holy heist, Batman! A thief zapped a South Florida collector by stealing a collection of comics of the Caped Crusader and the Boy Wonder worth $1.4 million, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

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Randy Lawrence said his collection of 450 registered Batman and Detective comic books were stolen from an air-conditioned, double-locked storage unit in Boca Raton.

Now, Lawrence is hoping officials can catch the joker who took the comics. But for now, the theft is a riddle.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft, which occurred sometime between Nov. 28 and Jan. 8, WFOR reported. Storage facility personnel were reviewing surveillance videos, the television station reported.

The theft had all the elements of a Batman comic book plot. A wire was left hanging from the ceiling of the storage unit, so Lawrence believes the villain entered through the roof, the Sun-Sentinel reported. The locks were not broken and boxes were shifted around in the unit, the newspaper reported.

Lawrence gave investigators a list of the missing Batman and Detective comic books and posted a list online with the certification numbers and pedigree names so the comic books can be traced.

Lawrence took to social media, pleading with other collectors to keep a watchful eye for anyone trying to sell the stolen comic books, the newspaper reported. Lawrence said the comics are registered with the Certified Guaranty Company, a comic book grading service, WFOR reported.

“I … really need you all to be aware and keep your eyes open,” Lawrence wrote online, according to the Sun-Sentinel. “They will probably be offered to some of you sooner than later.

“For me this is a first and on such a high level it’s been devastating. This collection was my nest egg, and I had worked so hard and done without for so long to put this together that it being taken away from me this way has left me in a very bad way.”

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