Woman who cut fetus from victim’s womb said boyfriend pressured her to ‘produce a baby’


FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A North Dakota woman convicted of killing her pregnant neighbor by cutting the fetus from her womb testified Tuesday that her boyfriend had pressured her to “produce a baby” after figuring out she had lied about being pregnant.

Brooke Crews told the court that she had concocted a phony pregnancy to keep from losing William Hoehn, who is on trial for conspiracy in the August 2017 death of 22-year-old Savanna Greywind. Hoehn has admitted helping to cover up the crime but says he didn’t know that Crews had planned to kill Greywind and take her baby. Crews testified that she never “explicitly” told Hoehn that was her plan.

Crews said Hoehn appeared surprised when he entered the bathroom in their apartment and discovered she had cut Greywind’s baby from her body.

Crews said Hoehn then retrieved a rope and tightened it around Greywind’s neck, saying: “If she wasn’t dead before, she is now.”

Greywind’s daughter survived and is being raised by family.

Hoehn spoke regularly with his attorney, Daniel Borgen, during Crews’ testimony but showed little emotion. Crews was crying and sniffling throughout.

“You never told Will that you had planned to do this, is that right?” Borgen asked.

“Not kill Savanna for her baby, no,” Crews replied.

“In fact, there was never a conversation at all about killing Savanna and taking her baby,” Borgen said.

“Not explicitly,” she said.

It wasn’t clear what Crews meant by “explicitly.”

Crews later disputed Borgen’s assertion that she had told a fellow inmate at her New England prison that she had strangled Greywind. She also disputed that she told the same inmate that Hoehn and Greywind were having an affair and the baby might be Hoehn’s.

Crews described her relationship with Hoehn as rocky and violent, saying it was fueled by drugs and alcohol. She said they broke up …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Priest who fled US after child sex abuse will remain behind bars


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A former New Mexico priest who fled the U.S. decades ago amid allegations of child sex abuse will await trial behind bars, a federal judge decided Tuesday, as his accusers in the audience applauded.

Defense attorney Samuel Winder argued in court that Arthur Perrault was not a flight risk as he had no passport, no family and no means of leaving the country. But prosecutors described him as a danger to the community who fled before.

“He is known to manipulate and gain the trust of people,” federal Prosecutor Sean Sullivan told U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Molzen. “Honestly, a jail setting is the best setting for the defendant to be.”

Molzen agreed and called Perrault a “very charming man” who once fled to a country that didn’t have an extradition treaty with the U.S.

Court documents filed late last week said victims described Perrault showering them with gifts and meals before abusing them. They also described Perrault as someone who smoked pipes and wore silk underwear.

The documents said the Connecticut-born Perrault also once wrote an apology letter to the parents of one victim in 1971 and blamed his actions on cancer, which prosecutors said he was never diagnosed with.

Perrault was extradited to New Mexico last week from Morocco in connection with sexual abuse cases that are said to have taken place between 1991 and 1992 at Kirtland Air Force Base and Santa Fe National Cemetery.

The former Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and a former Air Force chaplain has been charged in a federal indictment with seven counts of aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact.

Perrault pleaded not guilty in his first court appearance Friday. He also told a U.S. magistrate judge he’d had a stroke three years ago, was deaf in one ear, and had …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Another judge targeted: No jail time for sex assault by ‘good Samaritan’

By DAN JOLING, Associated Press

Justin Schneider, 2017. (Kirsten Swann/Anchorage Daily News via AP)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The man said he knew her and offered her a ride. Then he drove the woman to a dead-end street, said he would kill her, choked her until she blacked out and masturbated on her face.

Originally charged with kidnapping, 34-year-old Justin Schneider pleaded guilty to a single count of felony assault in a deal with prosecutors and was sentenced last week to two years in prison with one year suspended.

Having already spent a year in home confinement, he stepped out of the courtroom with no more time to serve.

The case has stirred outrage, with victims’ advocates pointing to it as another example of a lenient sentence for a crime against women. The judge said he thought the sentence was too light but deferred to prosecutors on what could be proven at trial.

Advocates are pushing to oust Superior Court Judge Michael Corey in November when he faces a vote to keep him on the bench, months after the successful recall of the Santa Clara County judge who sentenced former Stanford University swimmer Brock Turner to six months in prison for sexual assault.

Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, an independent facing re-election, vows to change state law that does not classify Schneider’s actions as a sex crime.

“The punishment in this case in no way matched the severity of the crime,” Walker said in a statement. “We must fix this problem immediately, and we will.”

Walker plans to announce proposed legislation this week that will make a conviction for unwanted contact with semen a sex offense carrying prison time of two to 12 years and mandated registration as a sex offender.

The case comes in a state with some of the highest sexual assault and domestic violence rates in the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


Beluga whale spotted in England’s Thames River


By Jennifer Hassan | Washington Post

LONDON – Whale, whale – what do we have here? A beluga in the Thames, actually.

Yes, a beluga whale was spotted splashing around in Britain’s River Thames, and Brits can’t quite believe it.

This story began Tuesday, when ecologist and ornithologist Dave Andrews captured rare footage of a beluga whale swimming in the Thames. The famed river runs not just through London but for miles through England, and this particular sighting occurred near Gravesend, Kent.

There she (or he) blows!

‘Beluga whale’ caught on camera in River Thames https://t.co/JNoV63UQBy

[tap video to expand] pic.twitter.com/xqSrDD8yOW

— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) September 25, 2018

Taking to Twitter, Andrews shared the video, writing: “Can’t believe I’m writing this, no joke – BELUGA in the Thames off Coalhouse Fort.”

The video has since been viewed more than 160,000 times, sparking “River Thames” to trend on Twitter. Throughout the day, Andrews continued to share whale updates and additional video footage, much to the delight of those following the story on social media.

By Tuesday lunchtime, photographers were lining the banks of the Thames, as were locals and others, and the BBC had launched its own live-stream of the creature, with some folks giving themselves the afternoon off work just to watch it.

“Nobody tell my boss i’m currently watching a live feed of a river,” tweeted one distracted worker.

“As I live in Gravesend I had no choice today but to literally run to the River Thames to watch the Beluga Whale . . . Winning!” a Kent local tweeted.

“The River Thames beluga whale has reportedly headed back out to sea after discovering how much it costs to rent a one bed in zone 1,” tweeted one user, who couldn’t resist using the day’s news to take a swipe at London’s housing market.

As excitement …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


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