Initially

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Story highlights

  • Pistorius was initially convicted of manslaughter
  • An appeals court changed it to murder last year
Pistorius killed Reeva Steenkamp at his home in an upscale Pretoria neighborhood in the early hours of Valentine’s Day three years ago.
The same judge originally convicted him of manslaughter after months of hearings, but a higher court changed that to murder in December.
Barring an appeal, it will be the final chapter of a saga that began on that fateful February morning in 2013 — when Pistorius fired four bullets through his bathroom door.

Back to prison

There’s only one person who will ever know precisely what transpired in Pistorius’ home that day.
The prosecution said Pistorius had a violent streak, and that he murdered his lover after a late-night argument.
But the defense has always maintained that the amputee track star mistook Steenkamp for an intruder and feared for his life when he shot through the door.
Despite a seven-month trial, much remains in question about what happened at 4 a.m. that morning, leaving stunned fans wondering how their hero turned into a killer.
While the opposing sides offer different versions of what happened, one thing is certain: Pistorius will not be a free man for a long time.
And it’s not the first time he’s going to prison in Steenkamp’s killing.

Guilty of manslaughter

After a nearly 50-day trial stretched over seven months, Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide (much like manslaughter) in September 2014.
Judge Masipa ruled the sprinter had acted negligently when he shot Steenkamp, but that he didn’t do it intentionally, and sentenced him to five years in prison.
But the Supreme Court of Appeals overturned the verdict last December. The appeals judge said Pistorius should have known that firing his gun would have killed whoever was behind the door, regardless of who he thought it was. It found Pistorius guilty of murder.
The minimum prison sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years, and the prosecution has called for no less. But the defense tried to secure a shorter sentence for Pistorius by arguing that his disability and emotional state were mitigating factors.
In giving him six years, the judge cited mitigating circumstances for the lesser punishment, saying Pistorius is a good candidate for rehabilitation. She added that Steenkamp’s parents have forgiven him.

Defense: Pistorius feared for his life

In dramatic scenes during his sentencing hearing in June, Pistorius hobbled across the court without his prosthetic legs, weeping as defense attorney Barry Roux argued that the former Olympian and Paralympic gold medalist was a broken man who deserved leniency.
“He suffers from an anxiety disorder. We know that … when he was on his stumps, his balance was seriously compromised, and without anything he won’t be able to defend himself,” Roux said.
Pistorius was not wearing his prostheses at the time of the shooting. Roux painted a picture of a fearful man on his stumps, trying to protect a loved one. He said Pistorius never intended to kill Steenkamp, and that he had tried to save her life.
“He was anxious, he was frightened. … He was suffering from anxiety disorder, and that’s not gone,” Roux said. “This must all be seen in context of his disability.”
“The accused can never resume his career,” Roux said. “The accused has punished himself and will punish himself for the rest of his life far more than any court of law can punish him.”

Steenkamps: Pistorius must pay for his crime

But chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel said Pistorius could not truly be remorseful when he had failed to give a satisfactory account of why he had fired the fatal shots.
Nel said it was the victim’s father was the “broken man,” not Pistorius.
Earlier in the sentencing hearing, Barry Steenkamp delivered a gut-wrenching plea for Pistorius to be punished for murdering his daughter.
Weeping and trembling on the stand, he told the court that he still speaks to his daughter every day and thinks of her “every morning, afternoon and night. I think about her all the time.”
“I don’t wish that on any human being, finding out what happened. It devastated us,” Barry Steenkamp said. “I ended up having a stroke and so many things since then have happened to me.”
The father said his wife, June, had forgiven Pistorius, but that the former Olympic and Paralympic sprinter must still pay the price for his crime.
“You have to understand that forgiveness doesn’t exonerate you from what you did,” he said.

CNN’s David McKenzie and Laura Perez-Maestro contributed to this report.

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Samantha Broberg was initially reported missing by travel companions. Carnival officials say cameras aboard the Liberty cruise ship captured the 33-year-old falling overboard early Friday. USA TODAY

Coast Guard rescue units continued Saturday to search the Gulf of Mexico for a woman who fell off a Carnival cruise ship early Friday morning.

The agency has dispatched HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft from Mobile, Ala., to scour the waters 200 miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas, according to a Coast Guard statement.

Carnival Liberty passenger Samantha Broberg, 33, of Arlington, Texas, apparently fell off the ship at 2 a.m. Friday. Carnival Cruises issued a statement confirmed that video footage captured the image of someone falling overboard. An extensive roll call of passengers Friday revealed that Broberg was no longer on board. The search started midday Friday, when those traveling with Broberg reported her missing.

Broberg’s family continued to hold out hope for her rescue. In a statement that appeared on the Fort Worth Star-Telegram‘s website, the family said it was “shocked and deeply saddened by the incident that occurred on the Carnival cruise ship,” statement says. “We hope and pray the U.S. Coast Guard is able to bring Samantha home.”

USA TODAY

Video shows woman missing on cruise fell overboard; Coast Guard joins search

The Carnival ship left Galveston Thursday on a planned four-day trip to Mexico.

According to the Paulick Report, which writes about thoroughbred horse racing, Broberg is the wife of thoroughbred horse trainer Karl Broberg, who was not aboard the ship. The report said the couple has four children. ThoroughbredDailyNews.com also reported the same news about the couple.

An ESPN article in December noted that Broberg had the most wins of any trainer in the nation. “As of Dec. 23, he had 418 wins on the year and was well on his way to wrapping up his second straight title as the top trainer in the nation in terms of wins. … He has said his goal is to increase his 2016 win total to at least 500,” ESPN’s Bill Finley wrote.

Follow USA TODAY tech reporter Marco della Cava on Twitter: @marcodellacava

Read or Share this story: http://usat.ly/1Th0Off

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Scarier than initially thought! Concerns are growing over the rapidly-spreading Zika virus. There are already six cases here in Maryland and top health experts say the mosquito that carries the virus has been found in 30 states—including Maryland!

Ava-joye Burnett has the warning from health officials.

Health officials are warning that the Zika virus is more widespread and poses a bigger threat than initially thought. They also say without funding, the US won’t be prepared to respond.

It’s news about the Zika virus no one wants to hear.

“Everything we look at with this virus seems to be a bit scarier than we initially thought,” said one official.

The virus is running rampant in South America and is connected to devastating birth defects where babies are born with small heads and brains. Now we’re learning Zika is linked to even more devastating health problems, like miscarriages, premature births and blindness in babies.

There are also reports of adults having neurological problems.

“I’m not an alarmist and most of you who know me know that I am not but the more we learn about the neurological aspects, the more we look around and say this is very dangerous,” said Anthony Fauci, NIH.

There are at least 346 travel-related Zika cases here in the US. Right now, folks at the NIH are scrambling to ensure that it doesn’t spread even more.

The mosquito that carries the virus has been found in 30 states, including Maryland.

“So far, this is the first type of mosquito-borne virus that can actually cause birth defects,” said Dr. John Cmar, Sinai Hospital in Baltimore.

The CDC doesn’t think there will be widespread transmission of the virus but local hospitals are still preparing—just in case.

“Are we screening the patients correctly in terms of where they have traveled and the types of symptoms they’ve had to make sure we are not missing anything,” an official said.

President Barack Obama asked Congress for $1.9 billion to help fight Zika but the funding has not been approved yet. Top health officials used this latest news to put pressure on Congress to approve the funds.

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Initially there were murmurs that it was suicide. But after his family learned that Sadek had been working as a confidential informant for a drug task force in the months before his death, they have pushed for answers, and for changes in the practice that they believe led to their son’s killing.
Sadek was busted for selling $80 worth of marijuana. He faced the possibility of more than 40 years in prison.
“That would scare the bejesus out of anyone,” said his mother, Tammy Sadek. “They get kids who have no knowledge of the law. They don’t offer up an attorney during this whole thing.”

Tammy Sadek says police should stop using college students accused of nonviolent offenses to carry out undercover drug buys. Her son’s case has been compared to others in which young kids busted for minor drug offenses are told they can reduce their sentence if they help police catch others. The practice has been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union and led to reforms in one state after an informant was murdered by those she was trying to help catch.

Authorities in North Dakota said Sadek was an adult who knew what he was doing when he chose informant work. A review of how the task force handled Sadek didn’t find wrongdoing.

But a year later, the case remains unsolved — with no official determination of suicide or homicide.

The gun that killed Sadek has not been found, but a pistol that shoots the same sized bullets disappeared from one of the Sadeks’ farm vehicles at their ranch near Rogers, N.D. Tammy Sadek said she doesn’t know if it’s connected because it’s not clear when the pistol was taken.

Sadek’s roommate, Drew Kugel, said Sadek didn’t appear depressed in the days before his disappearance. Kugel didn’t know about the undercover work his roommate was doing. He only knew Sadek as a quiet person who liked to ride his skateboard around campus and got good grades.

“Something went bad,” he said. “He was just a college student and I think they maybe sent him out to do something way over his head.”

3.35 grams

His family said Sadek was a thoughtful kid who loved the outdoors and planned to take over the family farm.

He spent two …Read More

Initially there were murmurs that it was suicide. But after his family learned that Sadek had been working as a confidential informant for a drug task force in the months before his death, they have pushed for answers, and for changes in the practice that they believe led to their son’s killing.
Sadek was busted for selling $80 worth of marijuana. He faced the possibility of more than 40 years in prison.
“That would scare the bejesus out of anyone,” said his mother, Tammy Sadek. “They get kids who have no knowledge of the law. They don’t offer up an attorney during this whole thing.”

Tammy Sadek says police should stop using college students accused of nonviolent offenses to carry out undercover drug buys. Her son’s case has been compared to others in which young kids busted for minor drug offenses are told they can reduce their sentence if they help police catch others. The practice has been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union and led to reforms in one state after an informant was murdered by those she was trying to help catch.

Authorities in North Dakota said Sadek was an adult who knew what he was doing when he chose informant work. A review of how the task force handled Sadek didn’t find wrongdoing.

But a year later, the case remains unsolved — with no official determination of suicide or homicide.

The gun that killed Sadek has not been found, but a pistol that shoots the same sized bullets disappeared from one of the Sadeks’ farm vehicles at their ranch near Rogers, N.D. Tammy Sadek said she doesn’t know if it’s connected because it’s not clear when the pistol was taken.

Sadek’s roommate, Drew Kugel, said Sadek didn’t appear depressed in the days before his disappearance. Kugel didn’t know about the undercover work his roommate was doing. He only knew Sadek as a quiet person who liked to ride his skateboard around campus and got good grades.

“Something went bad,” he said. “He was just a college student and I think they maybe sent him out to do something way over his head.”

3.35 grams

His family said Sadek was a thoughtful kid who loved the outdoors and planned to take over the family farm.

He spent two …Read More

Initially there were murmurs that it was suicide. But after his family learned that Sadek had been working as a confidential informant for a drug task force in the months before his death, they have pushed for answers, and for changes in the practice that they believe led to their son’s killing.
Sadek was busted for selling $80 worth of marijuana. He faced the possibility of more than 40 years in prison.
“That would scare the bejesus out of anyone,” said his mother, Tammy Sadek. “They get kids who have no knowledge of the law. They don’t offer up an attorney during this whole thing.”

Tammy Sadek says police should stop using college students accused of nonviolent offenses to carry out undercover drug buys. Her son’s case has been compared to others in which young kids busted for minor drug offenses are told they can reduce their sentence if they help police catch others. The practice has been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union and led to reforms in one state after an informant was murdered by those she was trying to help catch.

Authorities in North Dakota said Sadek was an adult who knew what he was doing when he chose informant work. A review of how the task force handled Sadek didn’t find wrongdoing.

But a year later, the case remains unsolved — with no official determination of suicide or homicide.

The gun that killed Sadek has not been found, but a pistol that shoots the same sized bullets disappeared from one of the Sadeks’ farm vehicles at their ranch near Rogers, N.D. Tammy Sadek said she doesn’t know if it’s connected because it’s not clear when the pistol was taken.

Sadek’s roommate, Drew Kugel, said Sadek didn’t appear depressed in the days before his disappearance. Kugel didn’t know about the undercover work his roommate was doing. He only knew Sadek as a quiet person who liked to ride his skateboard around campus and got good grades.

“Something went bad,” he said. “He was just a college student and I think they maybe sent him out to do something way over his head.”

3.35 grams

His family said Sadek was a thoughtful kid who loved the outdoors and planned to take over the family farm.

He spent two …Read More

Initially there were murmurs that it was suicide. But after his family learned that Sadek had been working as a confidential informant for a drug task force in the months before his death, they have pushed for answers, and for changes in the practice that they believe led to their son’s killing.
Sadek was busted for selling $80 worth of marijuana. He faced the possibility of more than 40 years in prison.
“That would scare the bejesus out of anyone,” said his mother, Tammy Sadek. “They get kids who have no knowledge of the law. They don’t offer up an attorney during this whole thing.”

Tammy Sadek says police should stop using college students accused of nonviolent offenses to carry out undercover drug buys. Her son’s case has been compared to others in which young kids busted for minor drug offenses are told they can reduce their sentence if they help police catch others. The practice has been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union and led to reforms in one state after an informant was murdered by those she was trying to help catch.

Authorities in North Dakota said Sadek was an adult who knew what he was doing when he chose informant work. A review of how the task force handled Sadek didn’t find wrongdoing.

But a year later, the case remains unsolved — with no official determination of suicide or homicide.

The gun that killed Sadek has not been found, but a pistol that shoots the same sized bullets disappeared from one of the Sadeks’ farm vehicles at their ranch near Rogers, N.D. Tammy Sadek said she doesn’t know if it’s connected because it’s not clear when the pistol was taken.

Sadek’s roommate, Drew Kugel, said Sadek didn’t appear depressed in the days before his disappearance. Kugel didn’t know about the undercover work his roommate was doing. He only knew Sadek as a quiet person who liked to ride his skateboard around campus and got good grades.

“Something went bad,” he said. “He was just a college student and I think they maybe sent him out to do something way over his head.”

3.35 grams

His family said Sadek was a thoughtful kid who loved the outdoors and planned to take over the family farm.

He spent two …Read More

Initially there were murmurs that it was suicide. But after his family learned that Sadek had been working as a confidential informant for a drug task force in the months before his death, they have pushed for answers, and for changes in the practice that they believe led to their son’s killing.
Sadek was busted for selling $80 worth of marijuana. He faced the possibility of more than 40 years in prison.
“That would scare the bejesus out of anyone,” said his mother, Tammy Sadek. “They get kids who have no knowledge of the law. They don’t offer up an attorney during this whole thing.”

Tammy Sadek says police should stop using college students accused of nonviolent offenses to carry out undercover drug buys. Her son’s case has been compared to others in which young kids busted for minor drug offenses are told they can reduce their sentence if they help police catch others. The practice has been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union and led to reforms in one state after an informant was murdered by those she was trying to help catch.

Authorities in North Dakota said Sadek was an adult who knew what he was doing when he chose informant work. A review of how the task force handled Sadek didn’t find wrongdoing.

But a year later, the case remains unsolved — with no official determination of suicide or homicide.

The gun that killed Sadek has not been found, but a pistol that shoots the same sized bullets disappeared from one of the Sadeks’ farm vehicles at their ranch near Rogers, N.D. Tammy Sadek said she doesn’t know if it’s connected because it’s not clear when the pistol was taken.

Sadek’s roommate, Drew Kugel, said Sadek didn’t appear depressed in the days before his disappearance. Kugel didn’t know about the undercover work his roommate was doing. He only knew Sadek as a quiet person who liked to ride his skateboard around campus and got good grades.

“Something went bad,” he said. “He was just a college student and I think they maybe sent him out to do something way over his head.”

3.35 grams

His family said Sadek was a thoughtful kid who loved the outdoors and planned to take over the family farm.

He spent two …Read More

Initially there were murmurs that it was suicide. But after his family learned that Sadek had been working as a confidential informant for a drug task force in the months before his death, they have pushed for answers, and for changes in the practice that they believe led to their son’s killing.
Sadek was busted for selling $80 worth of marijuana. He faced the possibility of more than 40 years in prison.
“That would scare the bejesus out of anyone,” said his mother, Tammy Sadek. “They get kids who have no knowledge of the law. They don’t offer up an attorney during this whole thing.”

Tammy Sadek says police should stop using college students accused of nonviolent offenses to carry out undercover drug buys. Her son’s case has been compared to others in which young kids busted for minor drug offenses are told they can reduce their sentence if they help police catch others. The practice has been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union and led to reforms in one state after an informant was murdered by those she was trying to help catch.

Authorities in North Dakota said Sadek was an adult who knew what he was doing when he chose informant work. A review of how the task force handled Sadek didn’t find wrongdoing.

But a year later, the case remains unsolved — with no official determination of suicide or homicide.

The gun that killed Sadek has not been found, but a pistol that shoots the same sized bullets disappeared from one of the Sadeks’ farm vehicles at their ranch near Rogers, N.D. Tammy Sadek said she doesn’t know if it’s connected because it’s not clear when the pistol was taken.

Sadek’s roommate, Drew Kugel, said Sadek didn’t appear depressed in the days before his disappearance. Kugel didn’t know about the undercover work his roommate was doing. He only knew Sadek as a quiet person who liked to ride his skateboard around campus and got good grades.

“Something went bad,” he said. “He was just a college student and I think they maybe sent him out to do something way over his head.”

3.35 grams

His family said Sadek was a thoughtful kid who loved the outdoors and planned to take over the family farm.

He spent two …Read More

Initially there were murmurs that it was suicide. But after his family learned that Sadek had been working as a confidential informant for a drug task force in the months before his death, they have pushed for answers, and for changes in the practice that they believe led to their son’s killing.
Sadek was busted for selling $80 worth of marijuana. He faced the possibility of more than 40 years in prison.
“That would scare the bejesus out of anyone,” said his mother, Tammy Sadek. “They get kids who have no knowledge of the law. They don’t offer up an attorney during this whole thing.”

Tammy Sadek says police should stop using college students accused of nonviolent offenses to carry out undercover drug buys. Her son’s case has been compared to others in which young kids busted for minor drug offenses are told they can reduce their sentence if they help police catch others. The practice has been criticized by the American Civil Liberties Union and led to reforms in one state after an informant was murdered by those she was trying to help catch.

Authorities in North Dakota said Sadek was an adult who knew what he was doing when he chose informant work. A review of how the task force handled Sadek didn’t find wrongdoing.

But a year later, the case remains unsolved — with no official determination of suicide or homicide.

The gun that killed Sadek has not been found, but a pistol that shoots the same sized bullets disappeared from one of the Sadeks’ farm vehicles at their ranch near Rogers, N.D. Tammy Sadek said she doesn’t know if it’s connected because it’s not clear when the pistol was taken.

Sadek’s roommate, Drew Kugel, said Sadek didn’t appear depressed in the days before his disappearance. Kugel didn’t know about the undercover work his roommate was doing. He only knew Sadek as a quiet person who liked to ride his skateboard around campus and got good grades.

“Something went bad,” he said. “He was just a college student and I think they maybe sent him out to do something way over his head.”

3.35 grams

His family said Sadek was a thoughtful kid who loved the outdoors and planned to take over the family farm.

He spent two …Read More