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crime & law

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2 inmates found after escaping from Ohio prison, authorities say

Update 3:25 a.m. EDT Monday: Two prisoners who escaped from the Community Correctional Center near Lebanon, Ohio, were found Sunday.

Daniel Hatfield Jr. and Jeremy Mink, the two prisoners who escaped Saturday night, were found around 3 p.m. by deputies from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, according to Warren County Dispatch.

They have been re-booked into Warren County Jail, dispatch said.

ORIGINAL STORY: Law enforcement is asking for the public’s help to find two Ohio prisoners who escaped Saturday night from the Community Correctional Center in Turtlecreek Township.

Deputies from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office responded around 8:30 p.m. to the area of 5234 State Route 63, the CCC, for a report of two men running through a field. They jumped into an older model silver minivan and fled the area.

>> Read more trending news 

The men, identified as Daniel Hatfield Jr. and Jeremy Mink, were confirmed to have escaped from the facility run by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Hatfield, 27, stands 5 feet 6 inches, weighs 186 pounds, has blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing tan pants and a white shirt. He is sentenced to CCC after being convicted of a probation violation for drug offenses out of Butler County.

Mink 28, stands 6 feet, 1 inch, weighs 195 pounds has blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing tan pants and no shirt. He was sentenced to CCC after being convicted of drug offenses out of Clermont County.

Anyone with information on either man’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at 513-695-1280.

Special education teacher accused of dragging, choking, punching students

A former Oklahoma teacher is facing two misdemeanor charges after witnesses say she physically injured her special education students.

>> Watch the news report here

KFOR reported last week that Holly Noelle Morris, 38, is accused of "choking, punching, pinching and squeezing two of her students on several occasions" while she was working as a special education teacher for Piedmont Public Schools. 

>> Read more trending news 

According to an arrest affidavit, one parent said her son came home with bruises on his face and neck. A video also showed Morris dragging one student, the affidavit said.

Morris, who was arrested and charged with two counts of causing a child to be deprived, resigned in February, KFOR reported.

Read more here.

North Carolina deputies find nearly $91 million of liquid meth on truck

Deputies in North Carolina on Saturday seized a tractor-trailer containing $90.8 million worth of liquid methamphetamine in the driver's side fuel tank, WTVD reported.

>> Read more trending news

Raul Topete Arreola, 49, and Aquileo Perez Pineda, 48, were charged with three counts of trafficking methamphetamine, according to the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said they found 120 gallons of liquid meth in the tank, WTVD reported. Harnett County Sheriff Wayne Coats said that could be converted into 454 kilograms of crystal meth, which would carry an estimated street value of almost $91 million.

The vehicle involved was a 2009 Peterbilt and was seized in Linden, WTVD reported.

The two suspects are being detained in the Harnett County Detention Center under a $3 million bond, WTVD reported.

Police: Massachusetts man arrested for allegedly hitting dog with baseball bat

Massachusetts man was arrested Friday for allegedly abusing a dog with a baseball bat.

>> Read more trending news

Gregory Ostiguy, 50, of New Bedford, was arrested by Dartmouth Police and charged with animal cruelty.

Police responded to a report of animal abuse at around 6:50 p.m. on Friday. After an investigation, police determined that Ostiguy did in fact strike the dog with a bat.

The dog was transported to a local veterinary hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

T.I. arrest: Petition urges police to drop charges against rapper

Days after T.I. was arrested outside his gated community in Henry County, Georgia, an online petition has surfaced urging police to drop the charges against the Atlanta rapper. 

>> On AJC.com: Atlanta rapper T.I. arrested after arguing with security guard

On Wednesday, the artist, whose legal name is Clifford Harris Jr., was charged with simple assault, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, but the Care2 petition is calling on police to drop the charges.

The organizers called the charges “ridiculous” and said T.I. deserves an apology. They also said the security guards involved were “racist.”

“A simple check would have proven who he was and the situation could have resolved there. But instead they decided to involve the police which used the opportunity, not to aid the citizen in need, but support security who were in the wrong,” they wrote on the site

They are asking for 12,000 signatures. As of Saturday afternoon, they had garnered more than 11,700 supporters. 

>> On AJC.com: ‘You work for me’: 911 call released in rapper T.I.’s arrest

Via a live Instagram video, T.I. labeled the arrest “nonsense” and “small potatoes,” adding that God will take care of it. And his attorney, Steve Sadow, said his client “was wrongfully arrested.”

The incident occurred after T.I. arrived at the gate outside his community to find the security guard sleeping. While the guard initially refused to let the rapper in, he eventually admitted him, according to an incident report from Henry County police.

>> Read more trending news 

T.I. then walked from his home back to the guard booth — a distance of more than a half-mile — and began to argue again with the guard, who called police.

He was released from the Henry County Jail about 8 a.m. Wednesday after posting $2,250 bond.

Police: Student arrested for making hatchets in welding class

A New Mexico teen is facing charges after he is accused of making hatchets in a welding class.

>> Read more trending news 

The incident took place at Career and Technology Education Center in Farmington. The 15-year-old male student was caught by his teacher Friday making hatchets during a welding class, KOB reported.

The teen fled the campus but police located him at his home, KOB reported. Farmington High School was placed on temporary lockdown while the teen was being located, police said.

The teen is facing multiple charges, including carrying or making a weapon on school campus and felony larceny, KRQE reported.

Police: Homeowner shoots home invader with arrow

Police are searching for two men after a home invasion in Pennsylvania on Friday night.

The homeowner shot one of the intruders with a bow and arrow, Allegheny County emergency dispatchers said.

>> Read more trending news 

The suspects are in their 30s, with one possibly wearing a hooded sweatshirt and one possibly wearing a red bandana, WPXI reported.

Police were using dogs as part of the search.

Lt. Sean Frank of the Shaler Police Department told WPXI the homeowner reacted quickly.

"He heard them come in through his back door, which was unlocked," Frank said. "He grabbed his bow and arrow, which he’s proficient with, and he says he fired three shots down the hallway. Doesn’t think he struck them at that point.”

However, the man told police he fired one more arrow as the pair fled and believes he hit one of them in the arm.

Bread truck driver convicted of killing unarmed black teen over stolen lunchbox

An Alabama man was convicted Wednesday of gunning down an unarmed 16-year-old as he ran away with a lunchbox stolen from the man’s bread truck. 

Jonathan Wayne Scott, 52, of Madison, wept as he was led away from the courtroom where a jury took less than two hours to convict him of manslaughter, AL.com reported. Scott faces up to 20 years in prison in the June 21, 2016, slaying of Mustafa Bearfield Jr., who was black. 

Bearfield’s mother, Shameka Williams, posted on Facebook following the verdict that her son got justice. The trial of his killer began the day after Mother’s Day. 

Scott, who is white, testified at trial that he was making a bread delivery to a Huntsville convenience store the morning of the shooting when he saw Bearfield walking away from his work truck with his lunchbox.

He testified that he yelled for the teen to drop the lunchbox, but said that Bearfield gave him a “screw you” look, AL.com reported. That’s when Scott threatened the teen with his gun. 

“I told him, ‘Drop it or I’ll shoot,’” Scott testified.

Bearfield ran and Scott chased him, firing six shots in his direction. The final shot struck Bearfield in the back of the head, killing him. 

According to AL.com, audio from 911 calls and video from police officers’ body cameras showed that Scott attempted to perform CPR on the teen, who died about a block from the convenience store. Scott’s lunchbox was found near the boy’s body.

Scott testified that he fired his gun to scare the teen into dropping the lunchbox, which he said he often used to carry a gun and thousands of dollars in cash. Police photos taken at the scene, however, show only food and drinks in the container. 

The delivery driver said he aimed his shots over Bearfield’s head, but claimed that the final shot struck the teen because he was running up a hill. 

At one point in the defense case, Scott’s attorney asked a police witness whether Bearfield had a criminal history, AL.com reported. As prosecutors objected to the question, the teen’s mother spoke up from the gallery.

“He’s not here,” Williams shouted. “He’s dead.”

Jurors also saw video of Scott’s interview with police investigators, in which he cried as he admitted killing the teen.

“It was just a cooler,” Scott told detectives, according to AL.com. “It was not worth a kid's life. He was just a boy. Why did I even try to scare him?”

Scott is being held in the Madison County Jail without bond while awaiting sentencing, jail records show

Williams posted a Mother’s Day photo of her son’s grave on a Facebook page titled Justice for Mustafa

“(I) miss my baby saying, ‘Happy Mother's Day, mommy,’ and a hug (and) kiss (and) card. My baby said (I) am a blessing to him as a mother. I cherish all the memories we have,” she wrote. 

Others mourned Bearfield on social media after his death, including staff members at his neighborhood Boys & Girls Club. 

“You were loved, will be missed and in our prayers,” a post on the club’s Facebook page read. “Right, wrong or indifferent and no matter how often a child comes to the club, they will always be considered ‘our child.’ He was taken too soon, he didn't get a chance to grow into the adult we all knew he could be or wanted to be. 

“I pray that we will never have to experience a pain like this again and justice will be served.”

Special education teacher in Georgia arrested on drug charges

A special education teacher in Georgia was arrested in Henry County on drug trafficking charges, police said.

>> Read more trending news

Alma Nichole Jones, 33, teaches pre-kindergarten at Livingston Elementary in Newton County. She is on administrative leave pending a Newton County Schools investigation, a school spokeswoman said.

On May 10, Jones was arrested along with Adrian Vernay Barlow, 35, at a home in McDonough. Drug Task Force officers said they confiscated about two pounds of powder and suspected crack cocaine, a felony amount of suspected marijuana and a rifle.

Drug Task Force commander Maj. Chad Rosborough said his team executed a search warrant after a month-long investigation into activities at the home.

The powder and suspected cocaine was packaged for resale, Rosborough said in a news release.

Jones and Barlow were arrested on felony charges of trafficking cocaine and possession of marijuana. Barlow also faces a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Neither Jones nor Barlow were granted bond. Both are being held in the Henry County Jail.

Superintendent: Impaired bus driver was 15 times over limit with students on board

An Alabama school bus driver was arrested Friday after a student who suspected the woman was drunk forced her to stop driving and alerted authorities.

Vicki Lynn Patrick, 57, of Robertsdale, is charged with driving under the influence and reckless endangerment, according to Baldwin County Jail records. She remained in jail Tuesday morning in lieu of $35,000 bond. 

Baldwin County Superintendent Eddie Tyler told local media that Patrick’s blood-alcohol level was 15 times over the .02 legal limit for CDL licensed drivers following her arrest. 

WKRG in Mobile reported that Patrick’s $10,000 bail amount for the DUI charge is about 10 times the typical bond issued for those suspected of impaired driving. 

“She was entrusted with the care of our children and grossly violated that trust,” a prosecutor told the court during Patrick’s bond hearing, the news station reported. 

The $25,000 bail for the reckless endangerment charge represents $1,000 for each child that was on the bus when Patrick was arrested, WKRG reported

>> Read more trending news

Fox 10 in Mobile reported that Patrick was driving a mix of 25 elementary, middle and high school students home Friday afternoon when it became apparent to the students that something was wrong. 

“She was swerving on the road and she was going really fast, and then she was going really slow,” Cody Butler, a 16-year-old sophomore at Robertsdale High School, told the news station.

Butler said he went to the front of the bus to see if the longtime bus driver was all right. 

“When I smelled alcohol and she was slurring, that’s when I walked back to my seat and called my mom and told her what was going on,” the teen said. 

Butler’s mother called 911.

Witnesses told WKRG that a student pulled the emergency exit door, which forced Patrick to pull over. It was not clear if Butler was the student who pulled the door.

Another student passenger told the news station that Patrick could barely speak. 

“We started going, she tried talking on the intercom (and) couldn’t really talk that well, and then she started swerving,” Hunter Roberts, 13, said

Butler told Fox 10 that Patrick pulled the bus over once an alarm sounded. She tried to call another bus to pick up the children, but couldn’t form a complete sentence, the teen said. 

“I didn’t let her turn on the bus,” Butler said. “I just kept saying, ‘Just stay where you are,’ and people were coming.”

A Baldwin County Schools employee driving by noticed the bus and stopped to see what was going on. 

“He was asking what was wrong, and she said everything was fine and we were getting a new bus,” Butler said. “I made hand motions for him to come help. I mouthed that she was drunk.”

Sheriff’s deputies soon arrived at the scene. 

WKRG reported that Patrick, who deputies said “reeked of the smell of a fermented beverage,” refused to take a field sobriety test. She was disoriented and could hardly stand or answer the deputies’ questions, authorities said. 

After being medically evaluated, she was placed under arrest. 

The judge who set Patrick’s bail suspended her driving privileges and forbade her from drinking alcohol, the news station reported. She was also ordered to not have contact with the children who were on the bus Friday or their families. 

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