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Why Texas woman lied to police about her alleged cop killer son for days: 'Because I am a mom'

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Harris County Sheriff(HOUSTON) — A Houston mother was held on $50,000 bond Friday for allegedly lying for days about her son’s whereabouts after he fled the scene of a fatal hit-and-run that killed a veteran sergeant, authorities said.

Tiffany Henderson was arrested and charged by Harris County prosecutors on Thursday with hindering apprehension after telling investigators that she did not know where her son, Tavores Dewayne Henderson, was located.

When investigators asked the 37-year-old mother why she continued to “lie” to them, she responded: “Because I am a mom,” according to the criminal complaint.

Her boyfriend, 33-year-old Geoffrey Wheeler, was also charged with hindering prosecution.

During a traffic stop on Tuesday evening on the 2000 block of San Sebastian Court, Nassau Bay Sgt. Kalia Sullivan and another officer attempted to arrest the 21-year-old who had an active warrant for allegedly assaulting a family member in February. Tavores Dewayne Henderson managed to break away from the two officers, get behind the wheel of his car and allegedly run over Sullivan.

Sullivan was taken to a nearby hospital where she died from her injuries. The 16-year veteran was 43.

Meanwhile, the alleged fugitive contacted his mother and Wheeler, who picked him up and drove him more than 30 miles away to The Sterling Inn hotel in West Houston, Texas, to hide out, according to the criminal complaint.

Investigators went to Tiffany Henderson’s home early Wednesday morning, where she denied knowing where he was or who he is, prosecutors said at a press conference on Thursday.

Police said the mother and Wheeler were seen on surveillance video leaving the hotel.

The manhunt increased on Wednesday as a “Blue Alert” was issued, and the reward money for information leading to his arrest was raised to $20,000.

Tiffany Henderson gave her condolences to Sullivan’s family and her concern that her son would get killed or hurt by police during an interview with ABC station KTRK in Houston on Thursday.

“At this moment, I just want to get my son to safety and all precautions to be followed,” said Henderson, who gave an anecdote about a conversation with an unidentified “guy” that was aware of her son’s whereabouts. “I want my son to turn himself in.”

Police the received a tip that Tavores Dewayne Henderson was in a house on the 4200 block of Heritage Trail Drive in Houston.

As law enforcement surrounded the house, “(Tiffany Henderson) informed officers that she wanted the opportunity to tell her son, Tavores Henderson, to surrender. (Tiffany Henderson) was allowed to speak to Tavores Henderson and he responded by surrendering himself,” according to the criminal complaint.

The alleged cop killer was taken into custody Thursday afternoon “without incident,” police said.

The mother, who has a lengthy criminal history dating back to 2001, was held on a $50,000 bond at a preliminary court appearance Friday morning, according to court records.

Wheeler, who is the alleged getaway driver, told investigators that he lied to “because I was scared,” according to the criminal complaint. He posted a $10,000 bond, according to court records.

Both mom and Wheeler are expected back in court on Dec. 16.

Before a judge saw Henderson for the underlying case that escalated the traffic stop to an attempted arrest, officers restrained his wrist behind his back Sullivan’s handcuffs. The alleged cop killer was held on $150,000 for the assault charge and is expected back in court on Saturday for the upgraded capital murder charge, according to court records.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Police arrest juvenile suspect in fatal stabbing of Barnard College student: Sources

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TheaDesign/iStock(NEW YORK) — New York City police have arrested a 13-year-old boy in connection with the fatal stabbing of a Barnard College student, according to three law enforcement sources.

The sources told ABC News that the juvenile suspect is facing charges of murder, robbery and weapons possession after he allegedly made statements linking himself to Wednesday’s killing of Tessa Rane Majors, an 18-year-old freshman at the private women’s liberal arts college which sits just outside Morningside Park in Upper Manhattan, alongside Columbia University.

Detectives believe there may have been as many as three people involved in the incident, the sources said.

Majors was walking through the park near campus on Wednesday evening when she was accosted by an unknown number of people and stabbed multiple times during a struggle. Majors managed to get herself out of the park and onto a nearby street, where she was spotted by a school public safety officer who called 911. She died soon after at a local hospital, according to the New York City Police Department.

Majors’ family said they have “lost a very special, very talented and very well-loved young woman.”

“Tess shone bright in this world, and our hearts will never be the same,” the family told ABC News in a statement Thursday.

Majors was finishing up her first year at Barnard College, with final exams set to begin Friday. The school’s president, Sian Leah Beilock, said that Majors was wounded “during an armed robbery” that occurred off campus in the park.

“This is an unthinkable tragedy that has shaken us to our core,” Beilock said in a statement.

Investigators continued combing Morningside Park for evidence on Thursday. The New York City Police Department’s chief of detectives, Rodney Harrison, told reporters that a knife was recovered from the crime scene but it’s unclear whether the weapon was used in the stabbing.

Several people have been let go after being questioned by police, Harrison said.

Police are increasing patrols near the park and the neighboring college campuses in the wake of Majors’ death, according to Harrison.

Hundreds of people gathered at Barnard College to mourn Majors at a vigil Thursday night. Students, faculty and other community members placed flowers, candles and notes at a makeshift memorial on campus.

“The idea that a college freshman at Barnard was murdered in cold blood is absolutely, not only painful to me as a parent, it’s terrifying to think that that could happen anywhere,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a press conference Thursday. “It’s an unacceptable reality.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Unsettled weather on both coasts Friday and into the weekend

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Now that Arctic air is moving out of the Northeast, our attention turns to stormy weather on both coasts, with rain, snow and ice on both coasts Friday and into the weekend.

In the East, a storm system will be moving from the Gulf Coast up the East Coast, with freezing rain along the Appalachians from North Carolina to Pennsylvania and heavy rain with a threat of flooding along the coast.

On Friday morning, a winter weather advisory has been issued from North Carolina to Pennsylvania for freezing rain, sleet and some snow. Freezing rain will be the biggest issue because it can accumulate on trees and power lines, which could produce power outages. Also, very icy conditions are expected on the roads.

Also Friday morning, a flood watch has been issued from Rhode Island to Maine for several inches of rain that will fall on frozen ground, which could create flooding.

Later Friday afternoon, the storm system will be moving out of the Gulf of Mexico and will redevelop near the Carolinas’ coast into a coastal storm, bringing heavy rain to the area. Meanwhile, freezing rain will be falling all morning and into the afternoon along the Appalachian Mountains from North Carolina to Pennsylvania.

Friday night into Saturday morning, heavy rain will spread into the Northeast with flooding possible, especially in New England where the ground is frozen so water has nowhere to go. Rainfall there could be 1-3 inches.

In the meantime, a series of Pacific storms will ride the jet stream and bring heavy rain and snow through the weekend into the Western U.S.

On Friday morning, 10 western states are under winter weather alerts for heavy snow from Washington to New Mexico.

Some of the tropical moisture near the Hawaiian Islands is being picked up by the kink in the jet stream and pushed east toward the West Coast. In meteorology, we call this Pineapple Express of Atmospheric River.

Through the weekend, 1-3 feet of snow is expected from the Sierra Range to the Rockies, where avalanche danger will be high.

Along the Northern California coast and into Southern Oregon, some areas could see 2-3 inches of rain.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Small plane makes emergency landing on California freeway

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Evgen_Prozhyrko/iStock(CARLSBAD, Calif.) — A single-engine plane made an emergency landing on a California freeway Thursday night, authorities said.

California Highway Police said the incident took place shortly after 7 p.m. The aircraft came down on the southbound lanes of the I-5 near Carlsbad, nose-diving into the center divide, police said.

Video posted by police on social media shows the plane land on the road, but apparently without major damage.

No one in the aircraft or on the ground were injured, officials said..

The aircraft was carrying a man and a woman, who told firefighters that the Cessna’s cockpit filled with smoke and it lost power.

Their identities have not yet been released.

The couple was flying from El Monte and were planning to land a few miles away at the Palomar Airport, police said.

Police said that they removed the fuel from the plane before it was moved onto a truck with a crane and cleared from the scene.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Maryland councilmember proposes video cameras to thwart texting and driving

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bernardbodo/iStock(ANNAPOLIS, Md.) — While some states have pushed back against the implementation of red-light cameras, one councilmember from Montgomery County, Maryland, thinks current photographic deterrents are not enough.

Councilmember Tom Hucker is seeking to gain permission from the Maryland state legislature to install highway cameras that would record what drivers are doing inside their vehicles, in an attempt to curb distracted driving.

“Maryland is facing an epidemic of serious crashes from distracted driving,” Hucker told ABC News. “We have over 38,000 crashes a year and they result in far too many fatalities and serious injuries.”

According to government records, Montgomery County saw only 20 homicides in 2018 compared to 27 fatal car crashes the same year — one reason Hucker is arguing for such drastic action to be taken.

Although Maryland banned the use of handheld devices while driving in 2013, officials say the fines associated with being caught — $75 dollars for the first offense, $125 for the second offense and $175 for subsequent offenses — are not enough, and previous attempts to raise the fines have failed.

“If we’re serious about traffic safety, we need to look at using the best available technology to keep people safe and use the best tools at our disposal,” Hucker said. “This is a new tool that is available on the market. But we don’t have the authority to use it yet.”

The goal of the cameras, Hucker argues, is to increase the effectiveness of existing laws by catching drivers in the act of using their phones and then following through with some sort of punishment, like a fine or a written warning of some kind, he told ABC News.

Opponents of the plan are skeptical that this degree of surveillance is necessary.

“It’s really invasive,” John Townsend, public relations manager for AAA Mid-Atlantic, said in a phone interview with ABC News. “It’s like a peeping Tom. Not just violators, but everyone who drives by that camera will be recorded.”

Townsend said they were also concerned that such practices could lead to future violations of privacy and that lawmakers may alter the legislation in the future in an attempt to make more money.

“It’s a very slippery slope,” Townsend said. “Are they really doing this for traffic safety reasons or because there’s a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?”

Hucker responded to these concerns by asserting that the same questions were asked about red-light cameras back when they were first being considered, and that they are now widely used and proven to be extremely effective in deterring dangerous driving.

“Opponents then alleged that municipalities were [installing red-light cameras] to raise revenue,” Hucker said. “All we’re doing is seeking the authority to consider having a program, and you can set up any program you want.”

If Montgomery County were to adopt this policy, it would be the first program of its kind in the country and among the first in the world.

Ultimately, the council decided to postpone taking a position on the bill until the legislative session begins in January.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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