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Lawyers seek to get charge dropped against Alabama woman who lost fetus after being shot

No Comments National News

Kuzma/iStock(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) — Attorneys for an Alabama woman facing a manslaughter count in the miscarriage of her fetus that resulted from being shot during a fight filed court papers seeking to get the charge tossed, calling the indictment “completely unreasonable and unjust.”

Lawyers for Marshae Jones, 27, filed the motion Monday in Jefferson County Circuit Court.

“Using flawed and twisted rationale, the State of Alabama has charged a new theory of criminal liability that does not lawfully exist,” according to legal papers filed on Jones’ behalf. “The State charges Ms. Jones with intending to cause the death of her unborn child by allegedly ‘initiating a fight.’ The State’s theory ignores the law and ignores reason.”

Jones was five months pregnant when she was shot during a fight in December outside a Dollar General store in the Birmingham suburb of Pleasant Grove.

The woman who allegedly shot Jones, Ebony Jemison, 23, was initially charged with manslaughter, but a grand jury declined to indict her after determining she shot Jones in self-defense, prosecutors said. The same grand jury indicted Jones on one count of manslaughter.

The grand jury’s decision caused a firestorm and came after Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law a ban on most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, without exceptions for rape or incest. The only exception made under the law applies to situations where the life of the mother is endangered by her pregnancy.

The law immediately prompted a legal challenge and has not taken effect.

Prosecutors insisted that “the new law played no role in the consideration of the Grand Jury” in Jones’ case.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

University of Utah students to hold vigil for slain classmate Mackenzie Lueck days after suspect's arrest

No Comments National News

cmannphoto/iStock(SALT LAKE CITY) — University of Utah students will mourn their slain classmate, Mackenzie Lueck, at a vigil on campus Monday night.

Lueck, 23, had been missing in the Salt Lake City area for nearly two weeks before her suspected killer was arrested on Friday.

Ayoola Ajayi, 31, was booked on charges of aggravated murder, aggravated kidnapping, obstruction of justice and desecration of a body, police said.

Charred tissue has been recovered that contains DNA consistent with samples found on Lueck’s belongings, police said.

Giving Lueck’s father the news was “one of the most difficult phone calls I’ve ever made,” Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said Friday.

The college senior was last seen in the early hours of June 17. She landed at Salt Lake City International Airport around 2 a.m. and then took a Lyft from the airport to Hatch Park in north Salt Lake City, police said.

The Lyft driver told police that Lueck met an individual in the park and did not appear to be in distress, police said. She was never seen again.

Authorities later determined Lueck’s last communication was with Ajayi, said police. Phone records show that Lueck and Ajayi were both at Hatch Park within less than one minute of each other, according to authorities.

During a search of Ajayi’s home, his neighbors told police they saw him using gasoline to burn something in his backyard on June 17 and 18, police said.

“Several charred items consistent with personal items of Mackenzie Lueck” were found in his yard, according to police.

Ajayi has not yet appeared in court.

Lueck, a kinesiology major, was planning to graduate next year, according to university officials.

“The death of Mackenzie Lueck is devastating news,” university President Ruth Watkins said in a statement on Friday. “On behalf of the university, I express our heartfelt sympathy to the family, friends and classmates of Mackenzie during this very difficult time.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

1-year-old girl dies in possible hot car case in Iowa: Police

No Comments National News

bmcent1/iStock(SIOUX CITY, Iowa) — A 1-year-old girl died after she was left alone in a car on a hot Iowa day, according to police.

Officers were called to a Sioux City home on a report of an unconscious child just before 4 p.m. Sunday and found a 16-month-old girl in a car, said Sioux City police.

The temperature reached 98 degrees with a heat index of 107 degrees in Sioux City on Sunday.

The girl, who was unresponsive, was taken to Unity Point St. Luke’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead, said police.

The 16-month-old’s death is being investigated as a possible hot car case “but we are not ruling what the cause of death is until medical reports are finalized,” Sioux City police Lt. Chris Groves told ABC News on Monday.

Groves did not say how long the child may have been in the car.

This marks the 16th child to die in a potential hot car case so far this year, according to national nonprofit KidsAndCars.org.

Hot car deaths reached a record last year with at least 52 children killed, according to KidsAndCars.org.

Click here for hot car safety tips

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Las Vegas letting drivers pay parking tickets with school supplies donation

No Comments National News

hatman12/iStock(LAS VEGAS) — Paying off a traffic fine? That’ll be five notebooks, two rulers and a box of pencils, please.

The Las Vegas City Council has unanimously approved a month-long plan allowing parking tickets to be paid by donating school supplies.

From now until July 19, traffic offenders “may satisfy their tickets by bringing new, unwrapped school supplies of equal or greater value to their fine to the Parking Service Office” the city council said in a memo.

The supplies taken in by the city will be donated to the teachers exchange, a non-profit associated with the Public Education Foundation.

Accepted supplies include pencils, pens, erasers, dry erase markers, index cards, paper towels, copy paper, rulers, scissors and Post-it Notes. Donations must be made within 30 days of the citation.

The unconventional program comes after a string of trial runs approved by the city council since July 2016.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Kenny Chesney's collaboration with pop superstar Ed Sheeran is on the "Tip of My Tongue"

No Comments Country Music News

ABC/Image Group LA Kenny Chesney’s new song, “Tip of My Tongue,” was co-written by British pop superstar Ed Sheeran, along with Nashville hitmaker Ross Copperman.

“I’ve written so much with Ross, that’s always easy,” Kenny says of the collaboration. “He brought Ed in, and he is such a great writer.”

“The way creativity works in creative people is so different, but it’s always exciting,” Kenny explains. “As a co-write with a new writer, it’s one of the most fun sessions I’ve done in a long time. I get why people love working with [Ed].”

You’ll be able to hear “Tip of My Tongue” starting at 6 a.m. ET on Friday, July 12.

The song is the lead single from Kenny’s next album. He’s currently working on the follow-up to Songs for the Saints with longtime producer Buddy Cannon.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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