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Emails, Lust, and Forbidden Sex As Expert Testifies for Defense in Jodi Arias Retrial

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Last week in the Jodi Arias trial we finally had a defense witness on the stand we could see and hear without being shunned to the hallway. The expert for the defense was psychologist Micia Fonseca, and she was there to explain why Travis Alexander and Jodi Arias were drawn together, and their unconventional sexual proclivities. Yet, most of her testimony was about Travis whom she never spoke to or interviewed because the defendant she was vouching for killed him. Dr. Fonseca said in order for her to render her opinion she looked at Travis giving speeches, emails, text messages, testimony from the first trial, victim impact statements from Travis’s siblings and the sex tape. Kirk Nurmi begins with asking Dr. Fonseca if the relationship between Travis and Jodi was full of “love, lust and forbidden sex?” The Dr. states that it was indeed, and Kirk Nurmi moves to admit  emails between Sky, Chris Hughes and Travis Alexander. We would spend countless days listening to Kirk Nurmi and Dr. Fonseca break this email down line by line. Sky and Chris Hughes were close friends of Travis Alexander, and had also befriended Jodi Arias since Travis had immersed her into many parts of his life. In an email that continued on for 3 days  between Travis, Sky and Chris, the defense used this private conversation between friends to their advantage. Jodi Arias and Travis Alexander had only been together for 3 months when this email from the Hughes was sent.

Nevertheless, Kirk Nurmi went on to set foundation that Travis was a devout Mormon respected in his church. Jodi who was hungry for spirituality was drawn to this part of Travis, it was something she craved and needed, and Travis provided it. Travis would be the one to baptize Jodi Arias into this religion, and according to Jodi she and Travis were engaged in more than bible study. Kirk Nurmi states that Travis and Jodi were already having sexual encounters and Travis was sending Jodi nude photos of his lower half. While the public has done a comparison of Darryl and Travis’s hands that are in the photo, the opinion is that the lower half photo doesn’t belong to Travis. But the defense is getting this expert to tell the jury it is. With nothing short of a “lower half” line up, proving who’s this part belonged to it makes this tricky to prove in a court of law. But we haven’t heard from Juan Martinez yet and who knows what kind of exposing of this testimony he will uncover. Kirk Nurmi went on to suggest that a good Mormon and someone so respected wouldn’t send photos, engage in sexual encounters and be a “master manipulator.” Dr. Fonseca stated that Travis wrestled with his faith and sexual desires, he felt he had to hide it from his friends and family. That’s where the Hughes’s email comes into play. They didn’t know Travis was already involved deep with Jodi Arias, and they were lacking some key information at the time these emails were sent. Jodi Arias had gone to the Hughes with her concerns, and as good friends to Travis in a faith that operates under strict rules they felt compelled to confront him…based on part by what Jodi Arias had told them.

All the same, Kirk Nurmi tells the jury Travis Alexander is a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type of person. Kirk uses a nickname that was given to Travis out of fondness, and takes the jury down a rabbit hole of Travis Alexander/Dr. Jekyll and T-Dogg/Mr. Hyde to describe a double life he suggested Travis lived. The Dr. went onto to say that Travis never really got over his long time love Deanna Reed. Deanna wanted to marry and at the time Travis just didn’t want to settle down. In the email from Chris and Sky Hughes they told Travis they counseled Jodi Arias when she came over to discuss her situation with them. The Hughes went on to tell Travis they told Jodi to move on or she would be like Deanna waiting forever for Travis to marry her. Travis responded he was very “messed up in the head.” While the Hughes didn’t approve of how Travis lived his life when it came to women they expressed a love for him and only wanting the best. The Hughes felt Travis just wouldn’t commit and settle down, and if he was going to involve these women into his life they deserved commitment. Jodi Arias wanted that commitment and Travis Alexander just didn’t see her as the one he wanted to give that too. Her pain of not being the woman Travis wanted to marry lead her down the road of trying to rope his friends into helping her make it so. Travis told the Hughes, “I’m not mean to Jodi, I adore Jodi,” but the Hughes continued to hammer him on why he kept their love affair so “closeted.” Jodi had told the Hughes Travis only called her around 1am in the morning and never during the day to just say hello. She went on to tell them Travis wouldn’t be affectionate in public situations or declare her his girlfriend to most of his friends. Jodi said she didn’t feel valued, and that he only showed her love behind closed doors. The Dr. told the jury this caused Arias a lot of low self esteem and turmoil when she was only recognized in a sexually manner and “closeted”, away from Travis’s friends and family. One telling phrase from Travis Alexander to the Hughes was he told them he was about to “have a nervous breakdown,” and I can’t help but wonder if the intensity of Jodi and his life outside of her just became too much to handle this early on in their relationship. The Hughes told Travis he was being a “jerk” to Jodi, and Travis responded he felt hurt they took Jodi’s side and “kicked him” while he was down. Sky went on to state that “everyone Jodi has confided in have told her the same thing…move on.” Travis told Sky he was still in love with Deanna Reed and when it came to Jodi it just “wasn’t there.” Yet, Jodi Arias can’t move on, and while the Hughes try to give Travis and Jodi advice on how to proceed in this secret love affair; the expert on the stand is explaining Travis was abusive emotionally to woman and that, “love is powerful and can make people do crazy things.” Kirk Nurmi responds it can make someone “snap,” and the Dr. agrees.

Granted, Chris and Sky Hughes knew Travis had a hard time committing. When Jodi Arias came to them with a story line they somewhat had seen before they warned her that her feelings may be stronger than his. When Travis gave them a deeper glimpse into what he was dealing with when it came to Jodi Arias they apologized for getting involved and expressed to him they just wanted to see him settle down. In a religion that views a single man in his 30’s as behind the 8 ball when it came to marriage how they viewed his choices were based on their lifestyles. In a world outside of Mormonism a man playing the field and “pulling chicks,” as Chris Hughes references, is considered somewhat normal behavior. But inside that lifestyle it’s frowned upon and misunderstood. Chris and Sky referred to Travis as, “rough around the edges,” and those that were close to him knew it. The defense used this to have the expert communicate to the jury Travis was “abusive and mean.” Dr. Fonseca went onto say that Jodi and Travis “are two people that care for each other but how they do it is unconventional.” Chris and Sky Hughes ended their conversation with Travis by telling him they are “concerned” with his relationship with Jodi Arias and they aren’t “angry” with him. While the defense picked apart every word, and every phrase it left me feeling bad that an email that was never intended for the public was exposed, and used against the very friend the Hughes were trying to help, Travis Alexander.

As the days past, and the testimony continued on with Dr. Fonseca another email that would come into play against Travis Alexander was an email from his love interest Lisa Andrews. Before Kirk Nurmi would get to that he used Travis’s own words in court to tell the jury how he had a childhood filled with neglect and violence from his own parents. Dr. Fonseca stated this kind of upbringing leaves an “imprint,” on someone and it stays with them through adulthood. She also expressed “scars” are left on someone from an abused home and they themselves can become abusers. Fonseca says maybe not to the level of the parents but she believed Travis Alexander was abusive. The jury also learned through this expert of Jodi’s abusive past of being beat with a wooden spoon by her mom, knocked out by her dad, choked, and cheated on by boyfriends in her past. All information gathered on this matter for the expert came from Jodi Arias herself, and as she explained it she was just another victim at the hands of an abusive person. The Dr. conveyed to the jury that people with abusive pasts tend to gravitate toward one another, and a lot of times someone being abused has a hard time leaving. Kirk Nurmi played testimony from Travis and Jodi Arias’ friends Desiree and Dan Freeman from the first trial saying they saw Travis and Jodi argue. The testimony seemed like a mute point and nothing that rose to the level of an abusive man treating Jodi so bad he deserved to be killed, and in my opinion was a semi flop. A story came out from Desiree Freeman that when Jodi got out of the car during a road trip the 4 of them took, and tried to get back in Travis would drive off a little and stop, drive off, and stop. When Jodi got back in they had words, and Desiree felt Travis was over the top mad while Jodi stared out a window. This left me reflecting on all the times my dad did that to my brother and I for fun. We would chase after the car as he was laughing and stopping, and then driving off. One time he just drove off! My brother and I began to wonder if he’d come back as we walked down the dirt road blaming each other for fighting and getting kicked out in the first place. His Chevy came blazing down that dusty road as we jumped up and down we wouldn’t have to walk home! Abuse….nah. Mom irritated at dad..well yeah.  It just wasn’t strong testimony in the defenses favor but Nurmi did express the Freeman’s were the only friends that Travis let have a window into his relationship with Jodi Arias.

As the jury’s eyes begin to gloss over with a lot of redundant information from this expert, things begin to heat up as the email from Lisa get’s admitted into evidence. Lisa expresses to Travis that what he may want she isn’t ready for when it comes to being in a relationship with him. Lisa was years younger than Travis and seemed more ready for a long term commitment that would end in a marriage. Lisa tells Travis he “grabs her butt” too much in public and doesn’t act as respectful of her as he should. Lisa goes on to tell Travis she wants someone more serious, more into her goals in life, more ready to be the father of her children, and she just didn’t think Travis was ready for that. Dr. Fonesa tells the jury this is all part of Travis’s “intimacy deficit and how he treats women.” What she hasn’t told the jury is that Lisa and Travis were under enormous pressure from Jodi Arias’ watchful eyes as Travis moved on and she began to stalk him. With tire slashing’s, knocks on Lisa Andrews’s door from an unknown stranger, and even an anonymous letter, Lisa Andrews found herself wanting distance from Travis and his love struck ex girlfriend. But we will have to wait for Juan Martinez to tackle that one when he’s up for cross. The email all came down to Lisa Andrews telling Travis Alexander he wasn’t the man for her. A scenario many of us have been through and many of us have walked away from. The difference was Jodi Arias didn’t walk away when Travis and others were telling her he wasn’t the man for her. Instead she pushed, and stayed, and was convicted of murdering him in his bathroom while he showered. While the defense lays out a picture of a woman who was abused by this man so badly she couldn’t leave his control even 1000’s of miles away; I can’t help but wonder if the jury will find this a reach. Right now the ball is in Kirk Nurmi’s court as he continues with direct examination of the witness and they carry on to portray Jodi Arias as a lost, abused soul that’s only crime was she loved too deep. Love so deep for a man that didn’t love her back the way he should and as the defense says, “Love can make people do crazy things.” See you all back at the courthouse at 9:30am MST for more in the Jodi Arias trial. – Jen Wood, The Trial Diaries

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The Trial Diaries by Jen Wood is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at Reporting/Commenting/Writing on Trials .

 


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Aaron Hernandez Set For Pre-Trial Hearing On Double Murder Charges Nov. 25

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Disgraced former NFL star Aaron Hernandez is due back in court for a pre-trial hearing on Nov. 25 related to drive-by murder charges he faces in connection with a 2012 double slaying.

The 25-year-old former New England Patriots tight end is expected to go to trial in the case sometime next May. Hernandez is charged as the triggerman in killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado outside a downtown Boston nightclub. Prosecutors have alleged Hernandez opened fire on the two unsuspecting victims after one of them accidentally spilled a drink on him inside the club and failed to apologize.

Hernandez has also been charged in the June 2013 slaying of on one-time associate Odin Lloyd, whose bullet-riddled body was found not far from the former Patriots’ North Attleborough mansion. Attorneys for Hernandez and prosecutor recently agreed to the pre-trial date in the courtroom of Suffolk Superior court Judge Jeffrey Locke. Hernandez was not present at the hearing.

Hernandez is charged with murder in the 2012 killings of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado. The former Florida star has pleaded not guilty in both the double shooting and the Lloyd case. In the Boston shooting, prosecutors paint a picture where they allege Hernandez essentially stalked the two men all the way to their vehicle and opened fire as they sat at a red light in traffic. In all, Hernandez is alleged to have fired at least five shots in the vehicle, instantly kicking both of the victims.

Just six weeks prior, Hernandez had signed a five-year, $40 million extension with the Patriots, who have since voided. Hernandez has been jailed without bail since June of last year on charges related to the Lloyd killing.

The Patriots formally severed all ties with Hernandez shortly after he was taken into custody in June of 2013.

Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall

Source: Glenn Minnis Business to Community

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3 years later: No charges in missing toddler case

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PORTLAND, Maine — The blood found throughout the home where Ayla Reynolds was last seen nearly three years ago is all her mother needs to demand charges — any charges — be brought against the child’s father and two other adults who were with the toddler the night she disappeared, setting off the largest investigation in Maine’s history.

Though investigators believe Ayla is dead and the three adults know more about what happened that night than they’re telling, no charges have ever been filed.

Now the clock is running out on some of the lesser charges the girl’s mother believes could have already been brought. The statute of limitations on misdemeanors like child endangerment expires in a matter of weeks, on the third anniversary of Ayla’s disappearance.

“All of them should be put in jail,” said Ayla’s mother, Trista Reynolds.

But she said she isn’t in regular contact with police and has little confidence that charges are imminent.

“I don’t see that happening any time soon,” Reynolds said.

Ayla was 20 months old when she was reported missing by her father, Justin DiPietro, on Dec. 17, 2011. The toddler had been living with DiPietro and his girlfriend, sister and mother in Waterville.

Ayla’s disappearance set off a massive search with FBI, police, wardens and volunteers combing through the woods and searching streams. Investigators ultimately announced Ayla was the victim of foul play but said there is no evidence she was abducted.

Maine State Police spokesman Steve McCausland said the investigation remains “active and ongoing.” DiPietro, who has denied knowing what happened to his daughter, couldn’t be reached for comment and a lawyer who represented the family did not return a phone call.

Maine has no statute of limitations for homicide and there’s a six-year limit for other felonies. But the limit is only three years on lesser charges — misdemeanors like simple assault or endangering the welfare of a minor, said Jim Burke, a professor at the University of Maine School of Law.

Burke said he sympathizes with the mother but said prosecutors likely don’t want to put their homicide investigation at risk for the sake of pursuing misdemeanors.

Bringing lesser charges would expose evidence central to the homicide investigation and could allow the defense to try to prevent harsher charges by claiming double jeopardy, said Assistant Attorney General Leane Zainea. She said prosecutors are keeping “an eye toward the more serious offenses.”

Kennebec County District Attorney Maeghan Maloney, who has reviewed the available evidence but is not involved in prosecuting the case, said prosecutors from the attorney general’s office are best suited to direct the investigation and to decide whether there’s enough evidence to win at trial.

“They’re absolutely devastated by this case that has consumed them. They’re trying to do everything they can. I have 100 percent confidence in them,” she said.

Ayla was placed in her father’s care after Trista Reynolds entered a substance abuse rehabilitation program, and the Reynolds family has questioned the care he provided.

As months turned into years, Reynolds has sought to put pressure on DiPietro and law enforcement agencies while trying to keep her daughter in the public eye. She and others even chased DiPietro following an unrelated court appearance last year, with the crowd shouting “murderer!” and “Where’s Ayla!”

Maloney said she doesn’t blame Reynolds for pressing for justice and for being frustrated. “What she’s going through is the worst thing a parent could go through,” she said.

But Burke said law enforcement investigators have to be patient because criminal investigations don’t play out as quickly as they do during a TV show or movie. Sometimes they take years, he said.

“The state is not going to go away,” he said. “Sometimes it takes 20 years for someone to slip up. So they sit and wait. They never give up.”

Source: AP Photo/Trista Reynolds, File/ DAVID SHARP, Associated Press

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Motion To Strike From Juan Martinez in the Jodi Arias Penalty Phase

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Juan Martinez is asking the court to strike the defendant’s Motion to Dismiss all Charges with Prejudice and/or in the Alternative to Dismiss the State’s Notice of Intent to Seek the Death Penalty due to Recently Purposeful and Egregious Prosecutorial Misconduct. “It’s apparent that the continuing failure to provide and exact copy of the hard drive is for the sole purpose of thwarting the State’s attempt to investigate defendant’s claim.”  Read more below…

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James Holmes Theater Shooting Trial: Photos Called Too Gruesome for Jurors

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Defense attorneys in the Colorado theater shooting case told a judge Tuesday that about 200 photos, many of dead and wounded victims, are too gruesome and would bias jurors if shown during trial. That’s only a portion of about 2,500 photos prosecutors want to introduce during the trial of James Holmes. Most of the videos and photos still in debate are of injured victims or of Holmes’ apartment and car that include items defense attorneys say are irrelevant, such as posters on his walls and a gear shift in the shape of a skull.

Holmes pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of killing 12 people and injuring 70 in the attack at a Denver area movie theater on July 20, 2012. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. Holmes’ lawyers acknowledge he was the shooter but argue he was in the grips of a psychotic episode. At the Tuesday hearing, they also said they would not dispute that Holmes caused the injuries if prosecutors would limit graphic crime scene photos they said could traumatize jurors. Prosecutors said they are the best evidence of the crime.

 “We have a number of people who have been horrifically injured, and our pictures are horrific as a result of that,” Assistant Arapahoe County district attorney Karen Pearson said. Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. said there were too many photos to rule on each one, but he might offer guidance on which would be admissible. Jury selection is scheduled to start Jan. 20. Samour has said he plans to summon 9,000 prospective jurors, and opening arguments could start in May or June.
Source: NBC NEWS


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Shelley Dufresne, Teacher Accused In Threesome Case, Wants To Jazzercise

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A former Louisiana high school teacher suspected in a sordid sex case involving a 16-year-old student wants a judge to ease the conditions of her house arrest.

Shelley Dufresne, 32, suffers from depression and would like to attend a Jazzercise class as part of treatment, her lawyer said in court Monday. According to the Times-Picayune, the attorney also requested permission for her client to take her kids to doctor’s appointments, and to engage in other extracurricular activities.

Dufresne and Rachel Respess, 24, who were both teachers at Destrehan High School, allegedly engaged in a threesome with a male student following a football game on Sept. 12. They are each face one count of carnal knowledge of a juvenile.

Dufresne has been under house arrest at her home in Montz since October, and is only allowed to leave to attend court dates, therapy and church services. A decision on the motion will be handed down Nov. 25, the same day prosecutors are expected to deliver formal charges against Dufresne.

Both women are scheduled to appear in court in January.

Police said that Dufresne had sex with the student on two separate occasions before having group sex with him and Respess at the other teacher’s apartment.

According to the New York Daily News:

Respess had sex with the teen while Dufresne “began intimately kissing (Respess) in an attempt to arouse all parties involved, all who were completely disrobed,” according to authorities.

Arrests were made in the case after the student, who is now 17, bragged to friends about his sexual encounters with the teachers, according to the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office.

Source:  | By Andres Jauregui

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Teary Mom Facing Jail Time Allegedly Spent Donations On ‘Baby Daddy’s Rap Album’

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Arizona mom Shanesha Taylor could have avoided jail time had she spent money donated to her by supporters on her children.

Now prosecutors say the Arizona mom spent $114,000 in money donated to her on trivial things, including studio time for “her baby daddy’s rap album,” a former supporter told the New York Daily News.

Taylor, 43, was charged with felony abuse earlier this year after she left her two young children in the car while she went on a job interview. She was homeless at the time, and said she had no means of caring for her 2-year-old and 6-year-old. Her story circulated, and some 4,000 people donated more than $114,700 in a crowdfunding campaign to help out her family.

Prosecutors in Phoenix said she could avoid jail time if she put $40,000 of that donated money into a trust fund for her children. But there’s no indication that she ever did.

In fact, her charges were reinstated for failing to meet her deadline, which was imposed by a judge. Prosecutors say she was spending more than $4,000 a month on non-essential items, and a civil rights leader who helped raise money for her has changed his tune.

“We had someone call my office and alert her attorney to the fact that she spent $6,000 at a music studio in Tempe to finish her baby daddy’s rap album,” Reverend Jarrett Maupin told ABC-15. “That’s not what people gave her that money for.”

Taylor denies the allegations, though it’s still unclear where the money went. She’s reportedly trying to raise money again.

She’s due back in court in December.

Source:  | By Andy Campbell

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‘Homicidal Violence’ Caused Hannah Graham’s Death: Medical Examiner

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — A University of Virginia student whose disappearance sparked a month long search died from “homicidal violence” but the exact cause is unknown, authorities said Tuesday.

The Albemarle County Police Department outlined the findings from the Virginia medical examiner’s office in the death of 18-year-old Hannah Graham but said a final autopsy report has not been issued.

In an emailed statement, county police and prosecutors said they would not be answering any further questions or providing additional information so they can “protect the integrity of the case.”

Graham’s remains were found Oct. 18 near Charlottesville, roughly 6 miles from where the body of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington was found after she vanished in 2009.

Graham met friends at a restaurant for dinner on Sept. 12 before stopping by two off-campus parties. She left the second party alone and eventually texted a friend saying she was lost, authorities said.

In surveillance video, she can be seen walking unsteadily and even running at times, past a pub and a service station and then onto a seven-block strip of bars, restaurants and shops.

The man Graham was last seen with, 32-year-old Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., is charged with abduction with intent to defile Graham. Police have said forensic evidence connects Matthew to Harrington’s killing, which in turn is linked by DNA to a 2005 sexual assault in northern Virginia. Matthew has pleaded not guilty in the 2005 case.

Following the positive identification of the remains last month, Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney Denise Lunsford said in a statement that the focus of the investigation now is to determine “what charges will be brought and the appropriate time to make those charges.” In Tuesday’s joint statement, county police and prosecutors said they “remain committed to the investigation.”

Source: AP

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Oklahoma City officer to face trial on sex charges

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OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma City police officer will stand trial on dozens of charges alleging he sexually assaulted 13 women while on duty, the judge’s order coming exactly five months after the first complaint was reported to police.

During the two-day preliminary hearing, prosecutors filed an additional four sex assault charges against Daniel Holtzclaw based on testimony, bringing the total number of charges to 36. The charges include six counts of first-degree rape, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison, as well as sexual battery, forcible oral sodomy and indecent exposure.

Holtzclaw, 27, has pleaded not guilty to each count. Oklahoma County Special Judge Fred Doak allowed Holtzclaw, who is on leave, to remain free on $609,000 bail. He is due back in court for a pretrial conference on Jan. 21.

During the hearing, all 13 alleged victims gave graphic testimony about the sex acts they said they did not want to perform but did so because they were frightened.

“It was either that or the county jail,” a 38-year-old woman said Tuesday of being forced to perform sex acts. The Associated Press does not identify people who have made allegations of sexual assault.

Another woman testified that Holtzclaw forced her to expose herself and have sex with him in April. “He was an officer. And I was scared. And I knew he could hurt me,” she said.

Holtzclaw showed no reaction when the trial was ordered, and said nothing as he left the courtroom. His attorney did not immediately respond to a telephone call seeking comment.

During some of Tuesday’s testimony, protesters outside of the courthouse could be heard five stories up, chanting “No Bail” and “Justice.”

All of the alleged victims are black; Holtzclaw is listed as Asian or Pacific Islander in court records. It’s not clear whether race played a role in the alleged crimes.

“Who am I to a police officer? I didn’t know what was going to happen next,” a 44-year-old woman who said she was forced to expose herself and perform oral sex said through tears.

Police began investigating Holtzclaw after a woman who testified Monday reported an alleged assault on June 18, and he was arrested in August. None of the other women who have spoken at the hearing reported incidents until detectives contacted them after opening an investigation.

“What am I going to do, call the cops? He was a cop,” said a 17-year-old girl who told the courtroom Monday that Holtzclaw raped her on the front porch of her mother’s home. Another witness, a 23-year-old woman, said Holtzclaw sexually assaulted her while she was high on drugs and handcuffed to a hospital bed.

“I just gasped,” she said, adding that she felt shocked and disgusted by the behavior. The woman denied suggestions by the defense that she could have been hallucinating.

Holtzclaw, who had been with the department for three years, was initially accused of assaulting eight women and more charges were added when other victims came forward.

Source: TIM TALLEY, Associated Press

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Miss Honduras Found Dead After Vanishing Days Before The Miss World Competition

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Reigning Miss Honduras, Maria Jose Alvarado, vanished with her sister, Sofia Trinidad, after a party last Thursday.

BBC reports, citing officials, that Alvarado, 19, and her sister have been found dead.

The pair had been celebrating a friend’s birthday near their home town of Santa Barbara, where student Alvarado was spending time with her parents before flying this week to London to represent her country.

The missing women were last seen getting into a vehicle as they left the party.

It emerged on Monday four people including Trinidad’s boyfriend had been arrested and were being questioned as the last-known people to see them alive.

Coello confirmed: “Four people are under arrest. They include the owner of the party venue and Sofia Trinidad’s boyfriend. They are being investigated.”

The case has caused consternation in the notoriously violent central American country, home to the most dangerous city on the planet.

San Pedro Sula, just over 30 miles from Santa Barbara, is the murder capital of the world with more than 1,200 killings a year among its nearly one million inhabitants.

Its murder rate of 169 per 100,000 people far surpasses anything in North America or much larger cities like Lagos or Sao Paulo.

Alvarado describes herself on a Miss World website profile as an aspiring diplomat who enjoys playing volleyball and football in her spare time.

She beat 18 contestants to win the Miss Honduras crown in April.

She missed an appointment on Sunday evening to try on the dress she hopes to win Miss World with.

The women’s mother Teresa de Jesus pleaded last night: “Open your hearts and understand my pain.

“There is an all-powerful God that sees everything and I hope you set them free.”

Miss World is due to start on Thursday, with 120 contestants competing for the crown.

Source: Pic Business Insider/ Business Insider

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‘Black widow’ with seven dead partners arrested in Japan

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A 67-year-old millionairess was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of poisoning her husband with cyanide as it emerged six former partners had already died, in Japan’s latest apparent “black widow” case.

Chisako Kakehi has been the beneficiary of a combined 800 million yen ($6.8 million) over the last two decades, Jiji Press said — insurance money and other assets she received after the seven men’s deaths.

Husband number four Isao Kakehi fell sick suddenly at home and was confirmed dead at a hospital in December last year, less than two months after the couple married.

An autopsy found highly toxic cyanide compounds in his blood.

That came after the September death of a 75-year-old boyfriend, who fell suddenly ill after the couple ate together at a restaurant, Jiji said.

Kakehi’s dalliance with death began in 1994 when her first husband passed away at the age of 54.

In 2006 her second husband, whom she had met through a dating agency, died of a stroke aged 69, while the third marriage ended in 2008 with the death of her 75-year-old partner, Jiji said.

A boyfriend, believed to have been suffering from some form of cancer, died a year later, and in 2012 her then-fiance met his fate after collapsing while riding a motorbike.

Traces of cyanide were detected in his body, media reports said.

Kakehi was arrested Wednesday by police in Kyoto on suspicion of murdering her latest husband. She has denied any involvement in his death.

“We suspect she did it for money,” a police investigator on the latest death said without giving details of the amount involved.

‘Doomed by fate’

Police are now working on the theory that she could have been behind the deaths of at least some of the other six.

“We can’t say how many now… Given their advanced age, we have to proceed carefully to judge whether their deaths were actually the result of foul play or not,” the investigator told AFP by phone.

Questioned by reporters earlier this year, former bank worker Kakehi protested her innocence.

“If people suspect murder, I’d find it easier to bite my tongue off and die,” she told reporters in March.

Jiji Press quoted her as saying in an earlier interview that she was “doomed by fate” to suffer a series of deaths among those close to her, and protesting that she had no access to poison.

If she is found to have been involved in the deaths of numerous partners, Kakehi will become the latest example in Japan of a “black widow”, named for the female spider that devours its mate after coupling.

In 2012 Kanae Kijima was sentenced to hang for the murders of three men, aged 41, 53 and 80, whom she met through Internet dating sites.

Kijima, who was at one time a paid-for mistress, poisoned her victims with carbon monoxide by burning charcoal briquettes after drugging them with sleeping tablets.

She is in jail awaiting the outcome of an appeal to the supreme court.

Another woman, former bar hostess Miyuki Ueta, is also waiting on the outcome of a supreme court appeal against a death sentence for the killing of two men.

Source: AFP

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