County

All posts tagged County

Santa Barbara County has declared a state of emergency as a fast-growing wildfire spreads over the Santa Ynez Mountains, threatening crops and rural homes, officials announced Friday.

Fields of avocado, lemon and olives have been damaged by the Sherpa fire, which grew to 4,000 acres overnight and was only 5% contained, county officials said.

Chewing through vegetation that hasn’t burned since the 1950s and pushed by 40 mph winds, the Sherpa fire crawled toward Highway 101 between El Capitan State Beach and Gaviota, forcing the California Highway Patrol to shut down the coastal route overnight. It reopened early Friday morning.

CHP officials said the highway will likely close again Friday night and possibly Saturday night, when a heat wave is expected to settle over the area and trigger the worst “sundowner” winds firefighters have seen so far.

“Even though conditions appear to have become better in the day the truth is things can and do change very rapidly in the evening,” said Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown.

A water treatment plant burned down Thursday night in El Capitan Canyon. The plant provided water to El Capitan State Park for bathrooms, water fountains and other facility necessities, according to officials.

Eric Hjelstrom, superintendent of California state parks, said the facility was closed before the fire reached the tank. The state park and others will remain closed until the mandatory evacuation orders have been lifted.

Santa Barbara fire bad omen for dangerous California fire season »

“The only impact is El Capitan State Beach,” he said. “This was a big impact but my goal is to get that park open as soon as possible.”

Hjelstrom said he was not sure of the financial burden the destroyed water treatment plant would have, but that his focus was on protecting infrastructure and resources.

For the next few days, crews are at the mercy of fire-stoking sundowner winds, which are the result of hot air from the Santa Ynez Mountains clashing with cool air off the Pacific Ocean.

During the day, the fire has somewhat predictable patterns, following topography. But when the sundowners arrive at sunset, the fire can become unpredictable and grow rapidly.

Those winds are expected to peak Saturday after 5 p.m. On Sunday, temperatures could climb into the 90s and on Monday, firefighters could be working in triple-digit heat, the National Weather Service said.

The state is entering its fifth year of drought, and officials say the Sherpa blaze is a grim omen for what could be a summer and fall of fire. 

“The fuels out there are drought-stressed. There’s a lot of tree mortality out there,” said Robert Baird, supervisor for Los Padres National Forest, where much of the fire is burning. “The drought is making an already pretty volatile situation not any better.”

This year, wildfires have burned more than 30,000 acres on state and federal land. That is about equal to or slightly higher than the same period in 2015, a particularly destructive year of fire that left at least nine people dead and burned 307,598 acres and hundreds of homes.

“You add a little bit of wind and these continued drought conditions and fires are going to threaten more homes and do more damage and take more resources,” said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The blaze began about 3:20 p.m. Wednesday near Refugio Road, the site of a devastating fire in 1955 that scorched homes and farms and burned more than 70,000 acres before it was done.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said mandatory evacuations for El Capitan, Refugio, Venadito and Las Flores canyons north of Santa Barbara remained in effect, while residents of neighboring communities such as Las Llagas, Gato, Las Varas, Dos Pueblos and Eagle canyons received evacuation warnings.

Riley Keith, a 65-year-old retiree, saw the smoke blanket the sky over El Capitan Ranch and knew it was time to go.

Keith, his wife, Yvonne, his mother, Betty Bosworth, and their dog and bird have been living out of their car since the fire grew Wednesday.

They were living at his sister’s ranch in El Capitan when mandatory evacuation orders were issued for their area Wednesday night. His sister stayed behind, while he and his family slept in an Albertsons parking lot.

“She’s tough as nails,” he said. “But you have to be when you’re running a ranch. My wife and I just couldn’t stand the smoke.”

Keith is a Santa Barbara native who has grown accustomed to wildfires in the area.

“It hasn’t burned in so long. I guess it needed to happen,” he said. “But who needs a disaster?”

The second night they lived in their car, the family went to a nearby park by Albertsons in Goleta. Keith’s sister calls him daily, keeping him updated on the fire burning around the ranch.

While the fire continues to burn, Keith and his family will stay at the Wake Center at 300 N. Turnpike Road in Goleta.

“I’m not going to stay where there’s a mandatory evacuation,” he said. “And she called me to say it was twice as smoky this morning.”

Watch as the Santa Barbara fire jumps Highway 101 and firefighters seek shelter >>

Residents in the area are all too familiar with the devastation these powerful winds can bring. In 1990, in the wake of strong winds, the Painted Cave fire burned 5,000 acres in three hours and destroyed 427 homes.

In 2008, sparked by a smoldering bonfire on a ridgeline overlooking Montecito, the 1,940-acre Tea fire damaged 219 homes.

Authorities on Friday told residents in areas near the evacuation zone to be prepared to leave at a moment’s notice. Air quality control officials said the fire has affected the air so residents in the area should keep their windows closed and if possible, rely on air conditioning.

Los Angeles firefighters, meanwhile, are alerting residents that the smoke they smell in the San Fernando Valley is likely from the Sherpa fire. The department tweeted Friday morning it has received several 911 calls from concerned citizens.

ALSO

Woman carries toddler into burning SUV, both are killed

Forecast for Southern California: Hot this weekend, even hotter Monday

California National Guard searches for couple and dog who went missing during 3-day hike


UPDATES:

12:04 p.m.: This article was updated with weather forecasts and reactions from county officials.

9:29 a.m.: This article was updated with reactions from residents.

7:06 a.m.: This article was updated with information about the size of the fire increasing.

This article was originally published at 5:25 a.m.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

A wildfire in Santa Barbara County that’s threatening homes and closing major highways more than doubled in size overnight to 4,000 acres, federal officials said early Friday.

Chewing threw vegetation that hasn’t burned since the 1950s and pushed by 40 mph winds, the Sherpa fire crawled toward Highway 101 between El Capitan State Beach and Gaviota, forcing the California Highway Patrol to shut down the coastal route overnight.

The blaze was 5% contained, officials with the Los Padres National Forest tweeted.

On Thursday night, authorities said the fire had burned 1,700 acres and forced the CHP to again close the freeway between Winchester Canyon Road and Highway 246 in Buellton. The road reopened around 5 a.m.

The blaze began about 3:20 p.m. Wednesday near Refugio Road, the site of a devastating fire in 1955 that scorched homes and farms and burned more than 50,000 acres before it was done.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office said mandatory evacuations for El Capitan, Refugio, Venadito and Las Flores canyons north of Santa Barbara remained in effect, while residents of neighboring communities such as Las Llagas, Gato, Las Varas, Dos Pueblos and Eagle canyons received evacuation warnings.

For the next few days, they are at the mercy of the sundowner winds.

The sundowner effect can be so destructive because of the violent clash of hot air from the Santa Ynez Mountains and the cool air off the Pacific Ocean.

During the day, the fire has somewhat predictable patterns, following topography. But when the sundowners arrive with sunset, the fire can become unpredictable and grow rapidly.

Residents in the area are all too familiar with the devastation these powerful winds can bring. In 1990, in the wake of strong winds, the Painted Cave fire burned 5,000 acres in three hours and destroyed 427 homes.

In 2008, sparked by a smoldering bonfire on a ridgeline overlooking Montecito, the 1,940-acre Tea fire damaged 219 homes.

Firefighters are going to be alert this weekend as a heat wave hits Southern California, bringing triple-digital temperatures through Monday. Forecasters said the conditions will further dry parched brush, heightening the fire risk.

The state is in its fourth year of drought, and officials say the Sherpa blaze is a grim omen for what could be a summer and fall of fire. 

This year, wildfires have burned more than 30,000 acres on state and federal land. That is about equal or slightly higher than the same period in 2015, a particularly destructive year of fire that burned  307,598 acres and hundreds of homes and left at least nine people dead.

“You add a little bit of wind and these continued drought conditions and fires are going to threaten more homes and do more damage and take more resources,” said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

ALSO

West Hollywood plastered with rainbow #ShootBack signs

Navy SEAL accused of deadly stabbing tried ‘to do the right thing,’ attorney says

Forecast for Southern California: Hot this weekend, even hotter Monday


UPDATES:

7:06 a.m.: This article was updated with information about the size of the fire increasing.

This article was originally published at 5:25 a.m.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

A Los Angeles County jury decided Monday that the “Grim Sleeper” serial killer should be put to death, closing an important legal chapter in the grisly slayings of at least nine women and one teenage girl that terrorized South L.A. for more than two decades.

The verdict against Lonnie David Franklin Jr., a 63-year-old former sanitation worker, drew muted sighs of relief from victims’ relatives, who passed tissues and sobbed as each victim’s name was read aloud. Franklin, wearing a yellow dress shirt and necktie that he put on as he entered the courtroom, appeared stoic as he has throughout the entire trial.

He was convicted last month of 10 murders between 1985 and 2007, but authorities believe he is responsible for more. Jurors rejected defense arguments that he should spend the rest of his life in prison rather than face execution.

The victims’ bodies were often dumped naked on roadsides or among trash in humiliating fashion, and the victims were all initially listed as Jane Does, leaving the killings unconnected for decades.

Some of the victims’ relatives cried and others prayed silently, rocking back and forth, as Franklin entered the courtroom to hear the verdict and adjusted a necktie. Donnell Alexander, whose 18-year-old sister, Alicia, was among the victims, munched on Skittles nervously.

“Dead man walking,”​​ he muttered aloud, as Franklin sat down.

Alexander, who spent much of the trial sketching the happenings in the courtroom, creating a chronological catalog of the evidence and proceedings, sighed and scrawled a note in his journal that read “Death. Death. Death.”

He locked eyes with an alternate juror and mouthed, “Thank you.”

She held her lips in a tight smile and nodded.

Outside the courtroom, relatives of Franklin’s victims hugged prosecutors and wiped away tears moments after the death verdict was read.

“We got what we came to get,” said Porter Alexander Jr., Alicia’s father.

Diana Ware, whose step-daughter Barbara was among the victims, said she had been coming to the downtown court for years waiting for this moment.

“I’m just glad it’s over and that he’ll never get out to hurt anyone else,” she said. “Justice was served.”

Deputy Dist. Atty. Beth Silverman became emotional when talking about the relationship she developed with those still grieving Franklin’s victims during the years-long investigation and court proceedings, which dragged on for years.

​“They’ve been in our lives and we’ve been in their lives in a very intimate way for the past six years, and that’s not something for us that ends,” she said. “We did what we could do to bring this chapter to a close in the best way we could, but at the same time our connection with them goes on, but their needs for us maybe starts to wane and they start getting back to their lives, so it’s a difficult time.”

During the penalty phase of the trial, prosecutors connected Franklin to an additional five killings. The district attorney’s office decided not to charge Franklin with those crimes because he was already facing the death penalty and prosecutors did not want to further stall a trial that had already been beset by delays. 

In all, investigators think Franklin may have killed as many as 25 women during the years he spent stalking one of the city’s most vulnerable populations.

In her closing argument to the jury, Silverman gave a blistering recounting of each victim’s final moments, speaking with a palpable disdain for Franklin. The defendant, seated underneath a projector that displayed pictures of his victims’ battered and bloody bodies, never looked up.

“They were so vicious, they were so calculated, and they were so demeaning,” Silverman said of the killings. “The way that these women ended up, half of them naked … all of them in filthy alleys.”

Defense attorney Dale Atherton countered by appealing to the jury’s conscience in a plea for mercy. Executing Franklin, he said, would only “delay the healing process” for the victims’ families.

“Every time they think of the approaching execution date, it will be like opening the wounds again,” he said.

Atherton did not attend the reading of the verdict. Seymour Amster, another one of Franklin’s attorneys, called the verdict “unfortunate” and said he expected the case to continue dragging through the legal system.

“Now what happens is millions will be spent on appeals,” he said. 

Amster said he hopes the case draws a spotlight to societal concerns. He chastised the government for what he characterized as their inaction in South L.A. during the crack cocaine epidemic and shot down the death penalty as an unnecessary resource drain.

“Isn’t that a shame, we’re going to spend all this money on him now?” Amster said, adding that he’s still considering filing a motion asking for a new trial.

California’s death penalty has been the subject of lawsuits in recent years. No one has been executed in the state since 2006.

Silverman did not mince words when asked if the simple pronouncement of a death sentence was enough for the prosecutors and Franklin’s relatives.

“Am I satisfied? No,” she said. “I think that at the end of the day the jurors have determined what the sentence would be and I think that the state has an obligation to carry that out.”

The killing of the women, some of whom were drug addicts or worked as prostitutes, failed to elicit the same alarm that put Los Angeles on high alert during rampages of other prolific serial killers in the Southland, such as the so-called Hillside Strangler or Richard Ramirez, who was dubbed the Nightstalker.

The deaths attributed to the Grim Sleeper in the mid-to-late-’80s coincided with a surge of homicides linked to the crack cocaine epidemic. In addition, several other serial killers were operating in the same area in those years. Michael Hughes was later convicted of killing seven women, Chester Turner of 14 women and a fetus. Both are on California’s death row.

But the Grim Sleeper proved to be the most persistent. His victims’ deaths would not be connected for decades, and police kept the slayings quiet despite suspicions that a serial killer was stalking black women.

That decision led to outrage and condemnation from many who attribute Franklin’s longevity as a killer to police indifference.

The victims listed in the charges against Franklin, in the order in which they died, were: Debra Jackson, 29; Henrietta Wright, 35; Barbara Ware, 23; Bernita Sparks, 25; Mary Lowe, 26; Lachrica Jefferson, 22; Alicia Alexander; Princess Berthomieux; Valerie McCorvey, 35; and Janecia Peters, 25

Most of the women were shot to death, and Berthomieux was strangled. 

Franklin initially earned the “Grim Sleeper” nickname because police believed he had gone dormant between 1988 and 2002. But detectives believe Franklin never really slept. Georgia Mae Thomas, 43, one of the five additional victims presented to jurors during the penalty phase of the trial, was killed in 2000. 

Prosecutors said the other additional victims were Inez Warren, 28; Rolena Morris, 31; Sharon Dismuke, 21; and Ayellah Marshall, 18.

Morris vanished in 2005 and Marshall disappeared in 2006. Their bodies were never found. 

Op-Ed: Relative to ordinary homicides in South L.A., the Grim Sleeper case got a lot of attention >>

Investigators found more than 1,000 photos and hundreds of hours of video in Franklin’s house, showing women, many of them nude and in sexually graphic poses, some seemingly unconscious. Marshall’s Hawthorne High School ID card and a photograph of Morris, along with her driver’s license, were found inside a garage refrigerator stuffed with a morbid cache of items. Prosecutors called it Franklin’s “trophy case.”

A German woman also testified that Franklin was one of three U.S. Army men who kidnapped and raped her in Stuttgart in 1974.

[email protected]

[email protected]

Follow @JamesQueallyLAT and @marisagerber for crime and courts news in Southern California.

ALSO

Father of former Stanford swimmer reportedly refers to sexual assault as ‘20 minutes of action’

Pit  bull shot and killed after fatally mauling Northern California man

Car thieves love L.A.: California leads the nation (again) in auto thefts

 


UPDATES:

3:51 p.m.: This story was updated with comments from prosecutors and Franklin’s attorneys.

1:35 p.m.: This story was updated with details about the reaction of victims’ relatives after the court hearing.

1:14 p.m.: This story was updated to add more details from court.

12:55 p.m.: This story was updated to include the verdict.

This story was originally published at 11:29 a.m.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

GARVIN COUNTY, Oklahoma –

Multiple tornadoes touched down across Oklahoma killing at least one person and leaving a path of destruction in its wake.

The first twister, moving in an east northeast direction, formed in a rural area just to the east of Elmore City in Garvin County. News 9 Storm Trackers spotted the tornado forming multiple vortices as it made its way across the county.

News 9 Chief Meteorologist David Payne estimates the tornado to be at least an EF-2, or possibly a low end EF-3.

Hail the size of tennis balls have also been confirmed. Multiple homes and structures were damaged or destroyed by the tornado, including some mobile homes and barns. Most of the damage was located in the area of Elmore City, Katie and Wynnewood.

News 9 Storm Tracker Tom Pastrano was on the ground where one home, located near Meridian Rd. and Old Mill Rd., was completely leveled.

The Garvin County Sheriff’s office confirms at least one fatality caused by this storm and three homes destroyed. According to a report from the Associated Press (AP), an emergency official identified the deceased as an elderly man in his home near Wynnewood.

A second, even larger tornado then formed to the northwest of Sulphur, Okla. David Payne estimates this tornado to be an EF-4 or possibly larger, moving in the direction of Hickory, Okla. and Roff, Okla.

Authorities shut down Interstate 35, between mile markers 59 and 64, and the Chickasaw Turnpike just east of Sulphur as the storm passes through the area.

Another storm later produced a third tornado just to the northeast of Lake Thunderbird in eastern Cleveland County moving toward western Pottawatomie County.

5:54pm @NEWS9 stormtracker tracking a funnel headed E about 5 miles from Stillwater Airport. #okwx

— Kelly (@kellyogle) May 9, 2016

In northern Oklahoma, another small tornado formed in Payne County to the east northeast of the town of Orlando, Okla., south of Perry, Okla. and just northwest of Stillwater. A waterspout first landed on Lake McMurtry, moving east about five miles north of the Oklahoma State University campus. 

Not long after a second, larger tornado briefly formed with multiple vortices and golf ball size hail just southwest of Morrison, Okla.

Keep checking with News 9 and News9.com for more information. 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

A top Los Angeles County sheriff’s official has resigned amid mounting criticism over emails he sent mocking Muslims, blacks, Latinos, women and others from his work account during his previous job with the Burbank Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department announced Sunday.

After previously saying that he had no immediate plans to discipline his chief of staff, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in a statement that he had accepted Tom Angel’s resignation and intended to turn the controversy into a “learning opportunity” for his department employees.

“This incident is one that I find deeply troubling,” McDonnell said. “Despite the Sheriff’s Department’s many recent efforts to fortify public trust and enhance internal and external accountability and transparency, this incident reminds us that we and other law enforcement agencies still have work to do.”

McDonnell said he would introduce random audits of employee email accounts and would meet with community groups to “share thoughts and ideas about improving our understanding of the varied cultures and orientations and deepening our appreciation of the many ethnicities and religions that are part of the vibrant fabric of the population we serve.” The department would also examine its training and existing policies for “ensuring accountability and enhancing cultural and ethnic sensitivity,” he said.

Angel’s resignation came after The Times published emails obtained under the state’s open records act. The forwarded emails prompted numerous civil rights advocates to call on the sheriff to discipline his chief of staff. By Sunday, the consensus was that Angel should step down or be fired.

Angel did not respond to messages seeking comment. He previously told The Times that he did not mean to embarrass or demean anyone. He said it was unfortunate that his work emails could be obtained by the public under the state’s records laws.

It is unclear what lasting effect, if any, the controversy will have on McDonnell’s standing among local civil rights advocates.

McDonnell was elected in November 2014 as an outsider promising to steer the agency past an era in which some deputies beat jail inmates and others were found to have singled out African Americans and Latinos in the Antelope Valley for harassment. He brought Angel, a veteran sheriff’s official, back from Burbank as a key member of his reform administration.

Angel’s resignation was welcomed by many of the civil rights advocates who had called on McDonnell to act, though some said the sheriff should have done more sooner. McDonnell had previously said he was disappointed by the emails but didn’t have plans to take action because Angel sent the messages while working for Burbank.

Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said Angel’s resignation was not a moment to rejoice but to “roll up our sleeves and help the sheriff develop a culture of partnership and accountability and transparency within his office.”

Haroon Manjlai, a spokesman for the greater L.A. chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the sheriff’s decision to accept his chief of staff’s resignation sent an important message going forward.

“Hopefully now, if incidents like these happen again, the precedent is to step down or be dismissed,” Manjlai said. “It promotes zero tolerance when it comes to any kind of xenophobic or insensitive behavior to any community.”

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, said the sheriff should have acted against Angel rather than wait for public criticism to build.

“You’re not doing anything if your initial reaction is, ‘That’s horrible, that’s terrible, but there’s nothing I can do or nothing I intend to do,’” Hutchinson said. “This is your department. You are the man at the top, you set the direction, the tempo, the climate for the department. If you don’t take action, what you’re saying is the department doesn’t care.”

NEWSLETTER: Get essential California headlines delivered daily >> 

Hutchinson, who last week called for an audit of all sheriff’s employee emails, said he plans to monitor the email audits and push to make sure the results are made public.

Esther Lim, director of the Jails Project at the ACLU of Southern California, called McDonnell’s initial reaction “a little passive.”

“When you have someone high up in the administration sending off inappropriate emails, and the sheriff is slow to respond, that communicates to the line staff that it’s a behavior that’s OK, when it’s not,” Lim said.

The uproar echoes recent controversies in other cities. In San Francisco and Ferguson, Mo., police officials who sent racially derogatory emails or text messages were placed on leave or fired.

Angel’s emails were sent in 2012 and 2013 when he was the No. 2 police official in Burbank. There, too, he had been brought in to reform an agency reeling from misconduct in its ranks, including allegations of brutality, racism and sexual harassment.

“I took my Biology exam last Friday,” said one of the emails, which The Times obtained from the city of Burbank under the state’s public records law. “I was asked to name two things commonly found in cells. Apparently ‘Blacks’ and ‘Mexicans’ were NOT the correct answers.”

Another email ridiculed concerns about the racial profiling of Muslims as terrorism suspects. A third included the subject line “How dumb is dumb?” and listed 20 reasons “Muslim Terrorists are so quick to commit suicide,” including “Towels for hats,” “Constant wailing from some idiot in a tower” and “You can’t wash off the smell of donkey.”

Four of the emails contained strings of jokes that Angel received and then forwarded. A city spokesman said the other senders and recipients were redacted because they did not work for the city, and releasing their identities would be an invasion of privacy.

A fifth email was a short dialogue between Angel and another Burbank police official in which Angel asked what he called a trivia question: “How many virgins do Muslims get in heaven?”

Some who worked with Angel in Burbank defended him, calling him a respectful leader who comfortably interacted with different ethnic groups.

“I saw nothing but the highest levels of conduct,” said Burbank City Councilman David Gordon.

Angel’s departure will be a big loss for the sheriff, who as an outsider relied on him as a right-hand man to help sort out the 18,000-member department’s inner workings.

“Tom Angel’s career within the Sheriff’s Department was extraordinary,” said Brian Moriguchi, president of the union that represents sheriff’s supervisors. “He came back to help the sheriff rebuild from the previous administration’s corruption and other problems, and he was well-intentioned and well-respected. But that doesn’t excuse his conduct, either.”

Twitter: @atchek

Twitter: @cindychangLA

Tchekmedyian writes for Times Community News.

ALSO

Assistant sheriff credited with curtailing the worst abuses in L.A. County jails is leaving

Tanaka convicted on conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges

Protests rage outside Trump rally in Orange County; 17 arrested, police car smashed

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

A top Los Angeles County sheriff’s official has resigned amid mounting criticism over emails he sent mocking Muslims, blacks, Latinos, women and others from his work account during his previous job with the Burbank Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department announced Sunday.

After previously saying that he had no immediate plans to discipline his chief of staff, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in a statement that he had accepted Tom Angel’s resignation and intended to turn the controversy into a “learning opportunity” for his department employees.

“This incident is one that I find deeply troubling,” McDonnell said. “Despite the Sheriff’s Department’s many recent efforts to fortify public trust and enhance internal and external accountability and transparency, this incident reminds us that we and other law enforcement agencies still have work to do.”

McDonnell said he would introduce random audits of employee email accounts and would meet with community groups to “share thoughts and ideas about improving our understanding of the varied cultures and orientations and deepening our appreciation of the many ethnicities and religions that are part of the vibrant fabric of the population we serve.” The department would also examine its training and existing policies for “ensuring accountability and enhancing cultural and ethnic sensitivity,” he said.

Angel’s resignation came after The Times published emails obtained under the state’s open records act. The forwarded emails prompted numerous civil rights advocates to call on the sheriff to discipline his chief of staff. By Sunday, the consensus was that Angel should step down or be fired.

Angel did not respond to messages seeking comment. He previously told The Times that he did not mean to embarrass or demean anyone. He said it was unfortunate that his work emails could be obtained by the public under the state’s records laws.

It is unclear what lasting effect, if any, the controversy will have on McDonnell’s standing among local civil rights advocates.

McDonnell was elected in November 2014 as an outsider promising to steer the agency past an era in which some deputies beat jail inmates and others were found to have singled out African Americans and Latinos in the Antelope Valley for harassment. He brought Angel, a veteran sheriff’s official, back from Burbank as a key member of his reform administration.

Angel’s resignation was welcomed by many of the civil rights advocates who had called on McDonnell to act, though some said the sheriff should have done more sooner. McDonnell had previously said he was disappointed by the emails but didn’t have plans to take action because Angel sent the messages while working for Burbank.

Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said Angel’s resignation was not a moment to rejoice but to “roll up our sleeves and help the sheriff develop a culture of partnership and accountability and transparency within his office.”

Haroon Manjlai, a spokesman for the greater L.A. chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the sheriff’s decision to accept his chief of staff’s resignation sent an important message going forward.

“Hopefully now, if incidents like these happen again, the precedent is to step down or be dismissed,” Manjlai said. “It promotes zero tolerance when it comes to any kind of xenophobic or insensitive behavior to any community.”

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, said the sheriff should have acted against Angel rather than wait for public criticism to build.

“You’re not doing anything if your initial reaction is, ‘That’s horrible, that’s terrible, but there’s nothing I can do or nothing I intend to do,’” Hutchinson said. “This is your department. You are the man at the top, you set the direction, the tempo, the climate for the department. If you don’t take action, what you’re saying is the department doesn’t care.”

NEWSLETTER: Get essential California headlines delivered daily >> 

Hutchinson, who last week called for an audit of all sheriff’s employee emails, said he plans to monitor the email audits and push to make sure the results are made public.

Esther Lim, director of the Jails Project at the ACLU of Southern California, called McDonnell’s initial reaction “a little passive.”

“When you have someone high up in the administration sending off inappropriate emails, and the sheriff is slow to respond, that communicates to the line staff that it’s a behavior that’s OK, when it’s not,” Lim said.

The uproar echoes recent controversies in other cities. In San Francisco and Ferguson, Mo., police officials who sent racially derogatory emails or text messages were placed on leave or fired.

Angel’s emails were sent in 2012 and 2013 when he was the No. 2 police official in Burbank. There, too, he had been brought in to reform an agency reeling from misconduct in its ranks, including allegations of brutality, racism and sexual harassment.

“I took my Biology exam last Friday,” said one of the emails, which The Times obtained from the city of Burbank under the state’s public records law. “I was asked to name two things commonly found in cells. Apparently ‘Blacks’ and ‘Mexicans’ were NOT the correct answers.”

Another email ridiculed concerns about the racial profiling of Muslims as terrorism suspects. A third included the subject line “How dumb is dumb?” and listed 20 reasons “Muslim Terrorists are so quick to commit suicide,” including “Towels for hats,” “Constant wailing from some idiot in a tower” and “You can’t wash off the smell of donkey.”

Four of the emails contained strings of jokes that Angel received and then forwarded. A city spokesman said the other senders and recipients were redacted because they did not work for the city, and releasing their identities would be an invasion of privacy.

A fifth email was a short dialogue between Angel and another Burbank police official in which Angel asked what he called a trivia question: “How many virgins do Muslims get in heaven?”

Some who worked with Angel in Burbank defended him, calling him a respectful leader who comfortably interacted with different ethnic groups.

“I saw nothing but the highest levels of conduct,” said Burbank City Councilman David Gordon.

Angel’s departure will be a big loss for the sheriff, who as an outsider relied on him as a right-hand man to help sort out the 18,000-member department’s inner workings.

“Tom Angel’s career within the Sheriff’s Department was extraordinary,” said Brian Moriguchi, president of the union that represents sheriff’s supervisors. “He came back to help the sheriff rebuild from the previous administration’s corruption and other problems, and he was well-intentioned and well-respected. But that doesn’t excuse his conduct, either.”

Twitter: @atchek

Twitter: @cindychangLA

Tchekmedyian writes for Times Community News.

ALSO

Assistant sheriff credited with curtailing the worst abuses in L.A. County jails is leaving

Tanaka convicted on conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges

Protests rage outside Trump rally in Orange County; 17 arrested, police car smashed

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

A top Los Angeles County sheriff’s official has resigned amid mounting criticism over emails he sent mocking Muslims, blacks, Latinos, women and others from his work account during his previous job with the Burbank Police Department, the Sheriff’s Department announced Sunday.

After previously saying that he had no immediate plans to discipline his chief of staff, Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in a statement that he had accepted Tom Angel’s resignation and intended to turn the controversy into a “learning opportunity” for his department employees.

“This incident is one that I find deeply troubling,” McDonnell said. “Despite the Sheriff’s Department’s many recent efforts to fortify public trust and enhance internal and external accountability and transparency, this incident reminds us that we and other law enforcement agencies still have work to do.”

McDonnell said he would introduce random audits of employee email accounts and would meet with community groups to “share thoughts and ideas about improving our understanding of the varied cultures and orientations and deepening our appreciation of the many ethnicities and religions that are part of the vibrant fabric of the population we serve.” The department would also examine its training and existing policies for “ensuring accountability and enhancing cultural and ethnic sensitivity,” he said.

Angel’s resignation came after The Times published emails obtained under the state’s open records act. The forwarded emails prompted numerous civil rights advocates to call on the sheriff to discipline his chief of staff. By Sunday, the consensus was that Angel should step down or be fired.

Angel did not respond to messages seeking comment. He previously told The Times that he did not mean to embarrass or demean anyone. He said it was unfortunate that his work emails could be obtained by the public under the state’s records laws.

It is unclear what lasting effect, if any, the controversy will have on McDonnell’s standing among local civil rights advocates.

McDonnell was elected in November 2014 as an outsider promising to steer the agency past an era in which some deputies beat jail inmates and others were found to have singled out African Americans and Latinos in the Antelope Valley for harassment. He brought Angel, a veteran sheriff’s official, back from Burbank as a key member of his reform administration.

Angel’s resignation was welcomed by many of the civil rights advocates who had called on McDonnell to act, though some said the sheriff should have done more sooner. McDonnell had previously said he was disappointed by the emails but didn’t have plans to take action because Angel sent the messages while working for Burbank.

Salam Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, said Angel’s resignation was not a moment to rejoice but to “roll up our sleeves and help the sheriff develop a culture of partnership and accountability and transparency within his office.”

Haroon Manjlai, a spokesman for the greater L.A. chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the sheriff’s decision to accept his chief of staff’s resignation sent an important message going forward.

“Hopefully now, if incidents like these happen again, the precedent is to step down or be dismissed,” Manjlai said. “It promotes zero tolerance when it comes to any kind of xenophobic or insensitive behavior to any community.”

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, said the sheriff should have acted against Angel rather than wait for public criticism to build.

“You’re not doing anything if your initial reaction is, ‘That’s horrible, that’s terrible, but there’s nothing I can do or nothing I intend to do,’” Hutchinson said. “This is your department. You are the man at the top, you set the direction, the tempo, the climate for the department. If you don’t take action, what you’re saying is the department doesn’t care.”

NEWSLETTER: Get essential California headlines delivered daily >> 

Hutchinson, who last week called for an audit of all sheriff’s employee emails, said he plans to monitor the email audits and push to make sure the results are made public.

Esther Lim, director of the Jails Project at the ACLU of Southern California, called McDonnell’s initial reaction “a little passive.”

“When you have someone high up in the administration sending off inappropriate emails, and the sheriff is slow to respond, that communicates to the line staff that it’s a behavior that’s OK, when it’s not,” Lim said.

The uproar echoes recent controversies in other cities. In San Francisco and Ferguson, Mo., police officials who sent racially derogatory emails or text messages were placed on leave or fired.

Angel’s emails were sent in 2012 and 2013 when he was the No. 2 police official in Burbank. There, too, he had been brought in to reform an agency reeling from misconduct in its ranks, including allegations of brutality, racism and sexual harassment.

“I took my Biology exam last Friday,” said one of the emails, which The Times obtained from the city of Burbank under the state’s public records law. “I was asked to name two things commonly found in cells. Apparently ‘Blacks’ and ‘Mexicans’ were NOT the correct answers.”

Another email ridiculed concerns about the racial profiling of Muslims as terrorism suspects. A third included the subject line “How dumb is dumb?” and listed 20 reasons “Muslim Terrorists are so quick to commit suicide,” including “Towels for hats,” “Constant wailing from some idiot in a tower” and “You can’t wash off the smell of donkey.”

Four of the emails contained strings of jokes that Angel received and then forwarded. A city spokesman said the other senders and recipients were redacted because they did not work for the city, and releasing their identities would be an invasion of privacy.

A fifth email was a short dialogue between Angel and another Burbank police official in which Angel asked what he called a trivia question: “How many virgins do Muslims get in heaven?”

Some who worked with Angel in Burbank defended him, calling him a respectful leader who comfortably interacted with different ethnic groups.

“I saw nothing but the highest levels of conduct,” said Burbank City Councilman David Gordon.

Angel’s departure will be a big loss for the sheriff, who as an outsider relied on him as a right-hand man to help sort out the 18,000-member department’s inner workings.

“Tom Angel’s career within the Sheriff’s Department was extraordinary,” said Brian Moriguchi, president of the union that represents sheriff’s supervisors. “He came back to help the sheriff rebuild from the previous administration’s corruption and other problems, and he was well-intentioned and well-respected. But that doesn’t excuse his conduct, either.”

Twitter: @atchek

Twitter: @cindychangLA

Tchekmedyian writes for Times Community News.

ALSO

Assistant sheriff credited with curtailing the worst abuses in L.A. County jails is leaving

Tanaka convicted on conspiracy and obstruction of justice charges

Protests rage outside Trump rally in Orange County; 17 arrested, police car smashed

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

Last Updated Apr 25, 2016 6:20 PM EDT

PIKE COUNTY, Ohio —A Facebook threat mentioning one of the eight members of an Ohio family who were shot and killed execution-style on Friday is among the the evidence investigators are examining, CBS News has confirmed.

The threat specifically called out Christopher Rhoden Jr., who died along with seven other members of the Rhoden family, in a string of shootings at four rural locations.

“I’m aware of the Facebook threat,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told CBS News. “Every piece of information is valuable and our investigators are certainly taking that into consideration.”

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader, said most of the victims were targeted while they were sleeping. He said it was clear the family was targeted and that he has warned the surviving members of the Rhoden family to take precautions and arm themselves.

“I cautioned them, told them we will be there,” Reader told CBS News. “I told (them) to be armed.”

One member of the family, who asked not to be identified, said the relatives are “torn up” over the murders.

“And you know what I mean, kinda freaked out because we don’t know. There’s still killers on the loose, or killer,” he said.

Authorities confirmed Sunday that marijuana grow operations were found near some of the sites where the Rhoden family members were murdered.

A law enforcement source has confirmed that investigators found some 200 marijuana plants in the executed Ohio family‘s indoor grow operation, CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton reports.

The source said the size of operation indicates it was being grown for sale not for personal use.

Each plant could produce about one pound of marijuana. A pound of high-grade quality marijuana has a street value of about $2,000.

A second law enforcement source said that investigators are looking at numerous avenues as a motive for the killings among them is whether there is a Mexican drug cartel connection or a possible drug turf war or family feud.

The Friday killings at four different homes near Piketon, Ohio, was “a sophisticated operation,” DeWine said at a news conference in the small community that has been on edge since the seven adults and one teenage boy were found shot in the head.

DeWine cautioned it was too soon to determine if the marijuana grow operations and the murders were directly connected.

At the Dogwood Festival in downtown Piketon on Sunday afternoon, the crowd was smaller than usual. Courtney Boyer came with her infant daughter.

“People are scared to come out,” she said. “What if that person who shot all those people is running around here. You don’t know who it is. Or what they’re capable of doing?”

Authorities have been scrambling to determine who targeted the clan and why. Investigators have interviewed more than 30 people in hopes of finding leads in the deaths.

The victims were identified Saturday as 40-year-old Christopher Rhoden Sr.; his 16-year-old son, Christopher Rhoden Jr.; 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden; 38-year-old Gary Rhoden; 37-year-old Dana Rhoden; 20-year-old Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden; 20-year-old Hannah Gilley; and 19-year-old Hanna Rhoden.

It appeared some of the family members were killed as they slept, including Hanna Rhoden, who was in bed with her newborn baby nearby, authorities said. The infant was 4- or 5-days old. The baby, Hannah Gilley’s 6-month-old baby, and 1 other small child were not hurt.

Since the slayings, authorities have refused to discuss many details of the crime, including any evidence or the search for the assailant or assailants.

Investigators sought tips and gave people a number to call if they had any details about the crimes. A Cincinnati-area businessman also put up a $25,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of the killer or killers.

Two of the crime scenes are within walking distance of each other along a sparsely populated, winding road that leads into wooded hills from a rural highway.

The third residence is more than a mile away, and the fourth home is on a different road, at least a 10-minute drive away, said the investigation’s leader, Benjamin Suver, a special agent in charge with Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

An out-of-breath caller who found two of the eight family members told a 911 dispatcher in a quavering voice that “there’s blood all over the house.”

“I think my brother-in-law’s dead,” she said, her voice rising as she adds later that it looks like someone has “beat the crap out of them.”

“I think they’re both dead,” she said before breaking down into sobs, according to one of two 911 call recordings released Saturday by the state attorney general’s office.

Phil Fulton, the pastor of Union Hill Church up the road from where some of the victims were found, described the family as close-knit and hardworking. He said they were previously part of his congregation, though not recently.

“We’re just doing everything we can to reach out to the family to show them love and comfort,” Fulton said.

Kendra Jordan, 20, said she often worked nights at a nursing home with the mother of the newborn and described her as outgoing, funny and always smiling.

“If you were having a bad day, she’d be the first one to come up to you to question you about what was going on,” Jordan said. “She was amazing.”

Jordan said the town would have difficulty recovering from the loss of a such a well-known family in the tight-knit community.

“Everyone knows that family, you can’t not know that family,” she said. “They’re involved in everything, and they’re at every event that’s going on in town. Just about see them anywhere you went.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

PIKE COUNTY, Ohio — A law enforcement source has confirmed that investigators found some 200 marijuana plants in the executed Ohio family‘s indoor grow operation, CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton reports.

Play Video

CBS Evening News

Manhunt underway for Ohio family members’ killer

Authorities are searching for anyone who may be involved in the fatal shooting of eight family members in southern Ohio. It’s still unclear what …

The source said the size of operation indicates it was being grown for sale not for personal use.

Each plant could produce about one pound of marijuana. A pound of high-grade quality marijuana has a street value of about $2,000.

A second law enforcement source said that investigators are looking at numerous avenues as a motive for the killings among them is whether there is a Mexican drug cartel connection or a possible drug turf war or family feud.

A Facebook threat mentioning one of the eight members of an Ohio family who were shot and killed execution-style on Friday is among the the evidence investigators are examining, CBS News has confirmed.

The threat specifically called out Christopher Rhoden Jr., who died along with seven other members of the Rhoden family, in a string of shootings at four rural locations.

“I’m aware of the Facebook threat,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told CBS News. “Every piece of information is valuable and our investigators are certainly taking that into consideration.”

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader, said most of the victims were targeted while they were sleeping. He said it was clear the family was targeted and that he has warned the surviving members of the Rhoden family to take precautions and arm themselves.

“I cautioned them, told them we will be there,” Reader told CBS News. “I told (them) to be armed.”

One member of the family, who asked not to be identified, said the relatives are “torn up” over the murders.

“And you know what I mean, kinda freaked out because we don’t know. There’s still killers on the loose, or killer,” he said.

Authorities confirmed Sunday that marijuana grow operations were found near some of the sites where the Rhoden family members were murdered.

Authorities allow crime scene investigation vehicles to pass a perimeter checkpoint near a crime scene April 22, 2016, in Pike County, Ohio.

Authorities allow crime scene investigation vehicles to pass a perimeter checkpoint near a crime scene April 22, 2016, in Pike County, Ohio.

AP Photo/John Minchillo

The Friday killings at four different homes near Piketon, Ohio, was “a sophisticated operation,” DeWine said at a news conference in the small community that has been on edge since the seven adults and one teenage boy were found shot in the head.

DeWine cautioned it was too soon to determine if the marijuana grow operations and the murders were directly connected.

At the Dogwood Festival in downtown Piketon on Sunday afternoon, the crowd was smaller than usual. Courtney Boyer came with her infant daughter.

“People are scared to come out,” she said. “What if that person who shot all those people is running around here. You don’t know who it is. Or what they’re capable of doing?”

Authorities have been scrambling to determine who targeted the clan and why. Investigators have interviewed more than 30 people in hopes of finding leads in the deaths.

The victims were identified Saturday as 40-year-old Christopher Rhoden Sr.; his 16-year-old son, Christopher Rhoden Jr.; 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden; 38-year-old Gary Rhoden; 37-year-old Dana Rhoden; 20-year-old Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden; 20-year-old Hannah Gilley; and 19-year-old Hanna Rhoden.

Play Video

CBS This Morning

Manhunt and search for motive in Ohio family’s murder

A manhunt is underway for whoever killed eight members of Ohio’s Rhoden family. Their bodies were found Friday at four separate crime scenes in t…

It appeared some of the family members were killed as they slept, including Hanna Rhoden, who was in bed with her newborn baby nearby, authorities said. The infant was 4- or 5-days old. The baby, Hannah Gilley’s 6-month-old baby, and 1 other small child were not hurt.

Since the slayings, authorities have refused to discuss many details of the crime, including any evidence or the search for the assailant or assailants.

Investigators sought tips and gave people a number to call if they had any details about the crimes. A Cincinnati-area businessman also put up a $25,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of the killer or killers.

Two of the crime scenes are within walking distance of each other along a sparsely populated, winding road that leads into wooded hills from a rural highway.

The third residence is more than a mile away, and the fourth home is on a different road, at least a 10-minute drive away, said the investigation’s leader, Benjamin Suver, a special agent in charge with Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

An out-of-breath caller who found two of the eight family members told a 911 dispatcher in a quavering voice that “there’s blood all over the house.”

“I think my brother-in-law’s dead,” she said, her voice rising as she adds later that it looks like someone has “beat the crap out of them.”

“I think they’re both dead,” she said before breaking down into sobs, according to one of two 911 call recordings released Saturday by the state attorney general’s office.

Phil Fulton, the pastor of Union Hill Church up the road from where some of the victims were found, described the family as close-knit and hardworking. He said they were previously part of his congregation, though not recently.

Play Video

CBS Evening News

Officials call Ohio killings a pre-planned execution

The manhunt continues in southern Ohio for whoever killed eight members of one family. Police still don’t have any suspects, or a motive. David B…

“We’re just doing everything we can to reach out to the family to show them love and comfort,” Fulton said.

Kendra Jordan, 20, said she often worked nights at a nursing home with the mother of the newborn and described her as outgoing, funny and always smiling.

“If you were having a bad day, she’d be the first one to come up to you to question you about what was going on,” Jordan said. “She was amazing.”

Jordan said the town would have difficulty recovering from the loss of a such a well-known family in the tight-knit community.

“Everyone knows that family, you can’t not know that family,” she said. “They’re involved in everything, and they’re at every event that’s going on in town. Just about see them anywhere you went.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Powered by WPeMatico

PIKE COUNTY, Ohio — A law enforcement source has confirmed that investigators found some 200 marijuana plants in the executed Ohio family‘s indoor grow operation, CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton reports.

Play Video

CBS Evening News

Manhunt underway for Ohio family members’ killer

Authorities are searching for anyone who may be involved in the fatal shooting of eight family members in southern Ohio. It’s still unclear what …

The source said the size of operation indicates it was being grown for sale not for personal use.

Each plant could produce about one pound of marijuana. A pound of high-grade quality marijuana has a street value of about $2,000.

A second law enforcement source said that investigators are looking at numerous avenues as a motive for the killings among them is whether there is a Mexican drug cartel connection or a possible drug turf war or family feud.

A Facebook threat mentioning one of the eight members of an Ohio family who were shot and killed execution-style on Friday is among the the evidence investigators are examining, CBS News has confirmed.

The threat specifically called out Christopher Rhoden Jr., who died along with seven other members of the Rhoden family, in a string of shootings at four rural locations.

“I’m aware of the Facebook threat,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine told CBS News. “Every piece of information is valuable and our investigators are certainly taking that into consideration.”

Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader, said most of the victims were targeted while they were sleeping. He said it was clear the family was targeted and that he has warned the surviving members of the Rhoden family to take precautions and arm themselves.

“I cautioned them, told them we will be there,” Reader told CBS News. “I told (them) to be armed.”

One member of the family, who asked not to be identified, said the relatives are “torn up” over the murders.

“And you know what I mean, kinda freaked out because we don’t know. There’s still killers on the loose, or killer,” he said.

Authorities confirmed Sunday that marijuana grow operations were found near some of the sites where the Rhoden family members were murdered.

Authorities allow crime scene investigation vehicles to pass a perimeter checkpoint near a crime scene April 22, 2016, in Pike County, Ohio.

Authorities allow crime scene investigation vehicles to pass a perimeter checkpoint near a crime scene April 22, 2016, in Pike County, Ohio.

AP Photo/John Minchillo

The Friday killings at four different homes near Piketon, Ohio, was “a sophisticated operation,” DeWine said at a news conference in the small community that has been on edge since the seven adults and one teenage boy were found shot in the head.

DeWine cautioned it was too soon to determine if the marijuana grow operations and the murders were directly connected.

At the Dogwood Festival in downtown Piketon on Sunday afternoon, the crowd was smaller than usual. Courtney Boyer came with her infant daughter.

“People are scared to come out,” she said. “What if that person who shot all those people is running around here. You don’t know who it is. Or what they’re capable of doing?”

Authorities have been scrambling to determine who targeted the clan and why. Investigators have interviewed more than 30 people in hopes of finding leads in the deaths.

The victims were identified Saturday as 40-year-old Christopher Rhoden Sr.; his 16-year-old son, Christopher Rhoden Jr.; 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden; 38-year-old Gary Rhoden; 37-year-old Dana Rhoden; 20-year-old Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden; 20-year-old Hannah Gilley; and 19-year-old Hanna Rhoden.

Play Video

CBS This Morning

Manhunt and search for motive in Ohio family’s murder

A manhunt is underway for whoever killed eight members of Ohio’s Rhoden family. Their bodies were found Friday at four separate crime scenes in t…

It appeared some of the family members were killed as they slept, including Hanna Rhoden, who was in bed with her newborn baby nearby, authorities said. The infant was 4- or 5-days old. The baby, Hannah Gilley’s 6-month-old baby, and 1 other small child were not hurt.

Since the slayings, authorities have refused to discuss many details of the crime, including any evidence or the search for the assailant or assailants.

Investigators sought tips and gave people a number to call if they had any details about the crimes. A Cincinnati-area businessman also put up a $25,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of the killer or killers.

Two of the crime scenes are within walking distance of each other along a sparsely populated, winding road that leads into wooded hills from a rural highway.

The third residence is more than a mile away, and the fourth home is on a different road, at least a 10-minute drive away, said the investigation’s leader, Benjamin Suver, a special agent in charge with Bureau of Criminal Investigations.

An out-of-breath caller who found two of the eight family members told a 911 dispatcher in a quavering voice that “there’s blood all over the house.”

“I think my brother-in-law’s dead,” she said, her voice rising as she adds later that it looks like someone has “beat the crap out of them.”

“I think they’re both dead,” she said before breaking down into sobs, according to one of two 911 call recordings released Saturday by the state attorney general’s office.

Phil Fulton, the pastor of Union Hill Church up the road from where some of the victims were found, described the family as close-knit and hardworking. He said they were previously part of his congregation, though not recently.

Play Video

CBS Evening News

Officials call Ohio killings a pre-planned execution

The manhunt continues in southern Ohio for whoever killed eight members of one family. Police still don’t have any suspects, or a motive. David B…

“We’re just doing everything we can to reach out to the family to show them love and comfort,” Fulton said.

Kendra Jordan, 20, said she often worked nights at a nursing home with the mother of the newborn and described her as outgoing, funny and always smiling.

“If you were having a bad day, she’d be the first one to come up to you to question you about what was going on,” Jordan said. “She was amazing.”

Jordan said the town would have difficulty recovering from the loss of a such a well-known family in the tight-knit community.

“Everyone knows that family, you can’t not know that family,” she said. “They’re involved in everything, and they’re at every event that’s going on in town. Just about see them anywhere you went.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

Read More

Powered by WPeMatico