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Crime & Law

    A Georgia woman left her Rottweiler in her car for five hours while she was in court at the Gwinnett County Jail, causing the dog’s death, sheriff officials said. >> Read more trending news  Connie Wright Gomez, 46, has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty. Gomez went to the jail as a “court visitor” around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, leaving her dog, Rambo, in her car, she told deputies. She left the windows open about an inch. Around 6:30 p.m., deputies heard Gomez mention she had left her dog in the car. One of the deputies went with Gomez to the car to check on the dog because the weather had been warm all day, with a high temperature of 82 degrees. When they arrived at the car, Rambo was dead. Related: Dog dies after being left in Animal Control officer’s truck When temperatures outside range from 80 degrees to 100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130 to 172 degrees, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Gomez was arrested and booked into jail. She is being held on a $16,700 bond. Gwinnett County Sheriff Butch Conway expressed dismay at the case. Conway started the Operation Second Chance “jail dogs” program, which matches jail inmates with adoptable dogs and cats. The inmates train and socialize the animals.  “I hope this poor dog’s horrific death reminds pet owners to make responsible choices for their pets,” Conway said. 
  • A convicted child rapist believed to have attacked as many as 100 children is going to be released.  >> Watch the news report here Officials with the Massachusetts Department of Correction told WFXT that Wayne Chapman was recently evaluated by qualified mental health examiners who ruled he is no longer a threat to children.  Unlike Chapman's past bids for freedom, it doesn't appear there was a hearing this time. The families of Chapman's victims were notified Monday that he could be out as soon as Tuesday. >> Visit Boston25News.com for the latest on this story 'Suddenly he's no longer sexually dangerous simply by virtue, what, that he's older? That doesn't make any sense,' said Melanie Perkins.  Chapman has also been suspected in the 1976 disappearance of a 10-year-old Lawrence boy. Perkins was childhood friends with Andy Puglisi and in 1976, Andy disappeared from a Lawrence swimming pool.  >> On Boston25News.com: Have you seen Andy Puglisi? A new push for answers 40 years later 'My heart breaks for his family and for all the victims of Wayne Chapman because there are many. Children in Providence who were raped by him, children in Massachusetts who were raped by him,' Perkins said. Chapman has been fighting for his release since 2004, when he finished a decades-long prison sentence for raping two Lawrence boys. During a 2016 hearing, a forensic psychologist testified that Chapman believed that little boys wanted to have sex with him: 'The fact that in December 2014, a little more than a year ago, he was still saying he saw these children as willing participants in the assaults seem to us quite a severe cognitive distortion.' >> On Boston25News.com: Lawyer: Convicted sex offender is 'too old' to reoffend Perkins wants to know why the same system that worked so hard to keep Chapman locked up has no decided to let him go free. 'Chapman is a serial pedophile and very likely a serial child murderer who will hurt and harm children again,' said Perkins. >> Read more trending news  An official with the Department of Correction says Chapman's release is already a done deal and he'll be out by Wednesday. He won't have to go to a halfway house or group home. WFXT is working to determine if Chapman will have any conditions or if he will have to register as a sex offender. 
  • A New Mexico teen is facing charges after he is accused of making hatchets in a welding class. >> Read more trending news  The incident took place at Career and Technology Education Center in Farmington. The 15-year-old male student was caught by his teacher Friday making hatchets during a welding class, KOB reported. The teen fled the campus but police located him at his home, KOB reported. Farmington High School was placed on temporary lockdown while the teen was being located, police said. The teen is facing multiple charges, including carrying or making a weapon on school campus and felony larceny, KRQE reported.
  • Police are searching for two men after a home invasion in Pennsylvania on Friday night. The homeowner shot one of the intruders with a bow and arrow, Allegheny County emergency dispatchers said. >> Read more trending news  The suspects are in their 30s, with one possibly wearing a hooded sweatshirt and one possibly wearing a red bandana, WPXI reported. Police were using dogs as part of the search. Lt. Sean Frank of the Shaler Police Department told WPXI the homeowner reacted quickly. 'He heard them come in through his back door, which was unlocked,' Frank said. 'He grabbed his bow and arrow, which he’s proficient with, and he says he fired three shots down the hallway. Doesn’t think he struck them at that point.” However, the man told police he fired one more arrow as the pair fled and believes he hit one of them in the arm.
  • A school resource officer is being hailed as a hero after he exchanged gunshots Wednesday morning with a 19-year-old former student who fired several shots at Dixon High School in Illinois. >> Read more trending news “From the angle I’m looking at right now, a lot of things went right when a great many of them could have gone wrong,” Dixon Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said at a news conference Wednesday. Authorities first got reports of an armed man on campus just after 8 a.m., police Chief Steve Howell said. The gunman, whose name was not released, was confronted by a school resource officer after he fired several shots near the west gym, Howell said. The gunman ran when he saw the officer, who chased after him. Howell said the suspect fired several shots at the officer as he tried to get away, but the officer was not injured. The officer returned fire, striking the gunman, according to authorities. The suspect was taken to a hospital for treatment of his wound, which did not appear to be life-threatening, Howell said. The officer, who was not identified, was placed on paid administrative leave as is standard in similar cases, according to the chief. No other injuries were reported. “I cannot be more proud of the police officer and the way he responded to the situation,” Howell said. “With shots ringing out through the hallways of the school, he charged toward the suspect and confronted him, head-on. Because of his heroic actions, countless lives were saved.” Dixon High School and nearby campuses were placed under lockdown as authorities searched the school for any signs of another shooter. Investigators believe the unidentified suspect acted alone. Howell said officers found students and staff members behind doors barricaded with desks and bookshelves while they were clearing the school. “The students and staff responded to this situation extremely well,” he said. All students have since been reunited with their families. The circumstances leading to the shooting were not immediately clear. Authorities did not say what motivated the attack. Police continue to investigate.
  • On Monday afternoon, a Georgia woman who allegedly stabbed her 17-year-old stepcousin to death in 2015 pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Olivia Smith, then 18, allegedly killed her stepcousin, Abbey Hebert,  outside an Acworth, Georgia, home on Nov. 14, 2015. According to the criminal warrant, Smith and Hebert had an argument that turned physical when Smith grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed Hebert. Smith then chased Hebert outside the home, where witnesses described seeing the teen on top of Hebert, stabbing her multiple times. >> Read more trending news  Smith cried in the court room of Cobb County Superior Court as the prosecutor Jesse Evans recounted the events of the day she allegedly killed Hebert. Evans said that, on the day of the stabbing, Smith told police that she and Hebert had smoked something prior to the stabbing and that “God told her to go after Abbey.” “There are no winners. There’s only losers here and there’s none greater than Abbey Hebert and her family,” Evans said. During his victim impact statement, Hebert’s father spoke directly to Smith and her family in court, calling their actions appalling. Smith broke down once again and the judge had to stop the father to ask him to address the court and not individuals. “None of us will be the same. It’s not a grief that we live with on Nov. 14. It’s a daily grief and we live with it every second of every day,” Steve Hebert said. Olivia Smith’s sister, Hannah Smith, gave a witness impact statement. “I stand before you today to speak on behalf of my sister’s character,” Hannah Smith said. “My sister is not a monster. Olivia loved Abbey. She would do anything for her. Olivia and Abbey were best friends. They were family.” Hannah Smith said drugs were to blame for what happened that day. “Abbey would not want Olivia to be confined to a cell for the rest of her life,” she said. “She would understand that drugs took over Olivia. Drugs have destroyed our family and our lives forever.” After hearing the statements, Judge Ann B. Harris choked up as she sentenced Smith to 20 years in prison. “There’s two lives that are destroyed,” Harris told the court. “Abbey will never be back, and you, Miss Smith, have to live with that. I do hope you think about this every day for the rest of your life.” Harris said Smith will get credit for time served. She then addressed Hebert’s family and friends who believed the sentence should’ve been longer. “Nothing can replace Miss Hebert, but that is the maximum I can do under the law,” Harris said.  She also had a message for Smith's family. “For those of you who think Miss Smith needs a lesser sentence, she made a choice and engaged in conduct and this was the result,” she said.
  • A Michigan woman is accused of driving under the influence on her own lawn, police said. >> Read more trending news  Nancy Ann Endy, 54, was charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated this week after she was spotted driving a truck on her lawn, WXYZ reported. Endy allegedly fell over when stopped by police, WXYZ reported. Police told WXYZ that Endy's breathalyzer test resulted in a .30 BAC. In Michigan, a driver with a .08 BAC or above is considered to be impaired, according to the Michigan State Police.
  • Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputies have arrested six people who they are calling “tomb raiders,” saying they fraudulently took ownership of 44 homes in Weston, Lauderhill, Tamarac and other places in the county. >> Read more trending news Catherine Lichtman, Mircho Murdjeff, Gillian Solomon, Illya Tinker, Patricia Tinker and Darren Tinker face more than 600 felony charges that include grand theft, identity theft, organized scheme to defraud and unlawful filing of false documents, deputies said.  Detectives started their investigation when a seventh person suspected in the alleged scheme, Compton Maycock-Beckles, was arrested in 2016 on grand theft and fraud charges after he was caught living in a foreclosed home in Weston, according to the arrest report. The original owner of the home told detectives that he did not give permission to Maycock-Beckles either to live in or sell the home.  Deputies said the six suspects operated under different company names such as Global Homebuyers, Prestige Home Buyers and Global Management Consulting Group. They used quit claim deeds and attorney authorizations to take ownership of homes, according to deputies. Detectives said the suspects also would then sell, rent or live in the homes, or also sell the same home to more than one person and collect money from both people at the same time. The suspects also used power of attorney to access deceased homeowners’ bank accounts and Social Security checks so it appeared as if the victims had given the six permission, according to the sheriff’s office.  Solomon and Illya, Patricia and Darren Tinker remain at the Broward County Jail on $3 million bond each. Lichtman and Murdjeff are being held at the jail on $900,000 bond each, according to jail records. 
  • A Seminole County woman was charged with beating and starving her elderly mother. According to a police report, Lisa Ann Dunn also became physically aggressive with her mother's dog. Deputies said this abuse lasted for weeks. >> Read more trending news  The women lived together, and Dunn's mother told deputies that her daughter was stressed over a $3,500 vet bill, WFTV reported. Dunn cried as she faced a judge Friday. She's charged with battery, abusing the elderly and obstructing justice for what deputies said she did her to mother. Seminole County deputies responded to an apartment complex Thursday evening. When they arrived, they said the victim told them Dunn was drunk and started an argument when the victim wouldn't give her methadone. The report said Dunn started pulling her mother's hair, kicking her legs and slapping her on the right cheek. The victim tried to call police, fearing that Dunn would kill her, deputies said. 'I'm shocked,' neighbor Bobby Banyan said. 'I got a mom. She's (in her) mid-70s. I would not do that to my mother.' The report said when Dunn's mother attempted to call deputies, Dunn grabbed the victim's walker and snatched the phone. When the mother finally contacted deputies, she told them that Dunn came home last week and started punishing and starving her, the report said. Deputies said the victim told them that she survived on crumbs and candies that she discovered around the house. She said her daughter wouldn't give her her medication and refused to take her to the doctor, deputies said. 'I think we need to get to know our neighbors a little better,' Banyan said. Dunn's mother refused to press charges because her daughter is her sole caretaker, the report said. No one answered the door when WFTV visited the home Friday evening. Dunn remains jailed in lieu of $15,000 bail.
  • A Florida woman threatened to throw a baby into a dumpster and shook the child during an argument with another woman Tuesday night, authorities said. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office arrested LaChanzee Horbbs, 26, early Wednesday on one count of child abuse.  She was released from the Palm Beach County Jail later Wednesday after posting a $10,000 bond, the Palm Beach Post reported. Investigators say Horbbs got into an argument at another woman’s home late Tuesday and started walking back to her home carrying a 1-month-old child.  As she walked away, Horbbs held the child over a dumpster, according to a sheriff’s report.  Horbbs reportedly continued into a parking lot, becoming more enraged as she and the woman continued to argue.  A man witnessing the scene tried to intervene and move the baby to safety. Horbbs reacted by shaking the baby hard enough to make the baby’s head snap back, the sheriff’s office said.  Another witness grabbed the child and retreated to safety, the Palm Beach Post reported.  The child was to taken Lakeside Medical Center. A doctor reported that the child showed no signs of injury but would need more tests to ensure there was no permanent damage.  Horbbs was taken into custody at her residence. She confessed to shaking the baby and hold the baby near the dumpster, the sheriff’s office said.