September 4th, 2013
11:11 PM ET

No federal civil rights probe into teen's death

The U.S. Justice Department will not conduct a civil rights investigation in the case of a teenager found dead in a rolled-up mat at his southern Georgia high school, a spokesperson for that agency said Wednesday.

Kendrick Johnson, 17, was discovered dead last January 11 headfirst in a rolled wrestling mat in the Lowndes County High School gymnasium in Valdosta, Georgia.

The Justice Department's criminal division is aware of concerns about Kendrick's death, but after reviewing the investigative file, it determined there is not "sufficient indication of a civil rights violation to authorize a civil rights investigation," according to the agency's spokesperson.

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Filed under: Georgia
September 3rd, 2013
04:50 PM ET

Georgia teen Kendrick Johnson's death was not accidental, family's autopsy finds

Georgia teen Kendrick Johnson, who was found dead in a rolled-up gym mat at his high school in January, died as the result of "unexplained, apparent non-accidental, blunt force trauma," according to a newly released, independent autopsy report.

The report, obtained exclusively Tuesday by CNN, directly contradicts the finding of an autopsy conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that determined that Johnson's death was the result of positional asphyxia. The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office determined that his death was accidental.

Johnson, 17 and an athlete, was found January 11 headfirst in a rolled wrestling mat at a Lowndes County High School gym in Valdosta, Georgia.

Inconsistencies in official reports on the condition of Kendrick's body have led the family and community to question the official cause of his death.

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April 10th, 2013
05:46 PM ET

Hostage-taker near Atlanta killed

[Update 7:46 p.m.] The man who took several firefighter-paramedics hostage in Suwanee, Georgia, is dead after an exchange of gunfire with police, Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Ed Ritter says. The four remaining firefighters and one police officer suffered superficial wounds, he said.

[Update] The gunman has released one firefighter; four remain inside the house. The gunman let the one hostage out to move the firetruck away from the house, officials said.

[First post, 5:46 p.m.] One firefighter A "barricaded gunman" is holding five Gwinnett County, Georgia, firefighters hostage in suburban Atlanta, a police spokesman said.

The hostage situation began after firefighters responded to "some type of medical call" at a residence in Suwanee, Gwinnett County police spokesman Ed Ritter said.

Police asked local TV stations not to send helicopters over the area, in the interest of assuring the safety of those involved in the situation.

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Filed under: Crime • Georgia • U.S.
April 4th, 2013
03:36 AM ET

Ware thinking of team, not leg

Kevin Ware's leg may be broken but not his spirit.

Not in the least bit.

Millions of television viewers cringed, when a bone punched through Ware's skin, protruding out of his leg after the University of Louisville guard landed hard from a jump to block a shot Sunday night.

It brought the Elite Eight game against the Duke Blue Devils to a screeching halt in the first quarter.

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Filed under: Christian • Georgia • Indiana • Kentucky • Religion • Sports • TV-CNN Newsroom • Uncategorized
April 2nd, 2013
07:50 PM ET

Atlanta schools' ex-chief surrenders

Beverly Hall, the former superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools, was among the educators who surrendered to authorities Tuesday after being indicted by a grand jury in a cheating scandal that rocked the district and drew national attention.

Hall resigned from her position in 2011 after a state investigation into large, unexplained test score gains in some Atlanta schools.

She has denied any role in the cheating scandal.

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Filed under: Crime • Education • Georgia • U.S.
March 29th, 2013
06:17 PM ET

35 indicted in Atlanta cheating scandal

Thirty-five Atlanta Public Schools educators and administrators were indicted Friday on a myriad of charges in connection with alleged cheating in standardized testing, one of the largest cheating scandals to hit the nation's public education system.

Among those indicted by a Fulton County, Georgia, grand jury was Beverly Hall, the former schools superintendent who gained national recognition in 2009 for turning around Atlanta's school system.

There were 65 counts in the indictment, which included charges of racketeering, influencing a witness, theft by taking and making false statements or writings.

 

 

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Filed under: Crime • Education • Georgia • U.S.
March 27th, 2013
03:00 PM ET

Grand jury indicts teens in baby's death

A Glynn County, Georgia, grand jury indicted two teenage defendants for murder in the shooting death last week of a 13-month-old boy, the district attorney announced Wednesday.

Because the defendants were younger than 18 when the killing took place, they cannot face the death penalty if convicted.

De'Marquise Elkins, 17, and a 15-year-old were charged with murder last week and made their first court appearance Monday. The younger suspect is not being identified because of his age.

Neither teen entered a plea during Monday's court hearing.

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Filed under: Crime • Georgia • Gun violence • U.S.
March 26th, 2013
01:51 PM ET

Baby shooting: Suspect's mom, aunt arrested

The mother and the aunt of one of the two teenage boys accused of fatally shooting a 13-month-old baby in Brunswick, Georgia, have been arrested, according to documents in the case.

Seventeen-year-old murder suspect De'Marquise Elkins' mother, Karimah Aisha Elkins, 36, and his aunt, Katrina Latrelle Elkins, 33, are accused of "false statements or writings," among other charges, the complaint said.

Also Tuesday, police investigating the case found a weapon and are trying to determine if it is connected to the shooting, a Brunswick police spokesman said.

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March 25th, 2013
07:16 PM ET

Slain baby's mother says police tested her for gunpowder residue

The mother of a 13-month-old Georgia baby who was shot to death Thursday told CNN that gunpowder residue tests on her and the baby's father were negative. Police had no comment when asked about Sherry West's statement.

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Filed under: Crime • Georgia
March 22nd, 2013
04:21 PM ET

2 arrested in shooting death of baby

Two youths have been arrested in the shooting death of a 13-month-old boy who was in his stroller, according to police in Brunswick, Georgia.

Police offered a $10,000 reward for information and have received more than 30 leads, police said.

Though no one has reported seeing the shooting, several people called 911 after hearing it, police spokesman Todd Rhodes said earlier.

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Lawyer: Client will plead not guilty to slapping child during flight
Joe Rickey Hundley is accused of slapping a crying child sitting near him during a flight in February.
March 20th, 2013
03:26 PM ET

Lawyer: Client will plead not guilty to slapping child during flight

The Idaho man accused of slapping a crying 19-month-old boy on a commercial airline flight will plead not guilty, attorney Marcia Shein said.

Joe Rickey Hundley, who is charged with assaulting a minor, is scheduled to appear in a federal courthouse in Atlanta Wednesday.

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Filed under: Air travel • Crime • Georgia • Travel • U.S.
March 1st, 2013
05:36 PM ET

Arrest in death of Usher's former stepson

A 39-year-old man was arrested Friday in connection with the watercraft accident death last year of the former stepson of singer Usher Raymond, said District Attorney Lee Darragh of Hall County, Georgia.

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Georgia convict's stay of execution upheld
February 21st, 2013
12:47 PM ET

Georgia convict's stay of execution upheld

Two days after a last-hour reprieve, it appears condemned Georgia murderer Warren Lee Hill will be spared execution for at least a few more weeks.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a 30-day stay of execution for Hill (pictured), whose attorneys say he's mentally disabled.

Georgia had asked the justices to lift the stay, which was granted minutes before Hill had been scheduled to die by lethal injection Tuesday night. A federal appeals court in Atlanta halted the execution to give lawyers a month for written arguments on whether Hill should be spared under the federal ban on executions of the mentally disabled.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Death Penalty • Georgia • Justice • Supreme Court
February 20th, 2013
09:53 PM ET

Plane carrying 7 crashes in Georgia

A jet carrying seven people crashed Wednesday in east Georgia, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The Hawker Beechcraft 390/Premier I jet landed at about 8:30 p.m. at Thomson-McDuffie Regional Airport in Thomson, and ran off the end of the runway, said FAA's Kathleen Bergen.

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Filed under: Aviation • Georgia
February 20th, 2013
12:15 PM ET

Georgia appeals inmate's stay of execution

The state of Georgia Wednesday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to let the execution of condemned murderer Warren Lee Hill go forward after a last-minute stay that spared him from lethal injection.

Hill was within half an hour of execution Tuesday night when federal and state appeals courts stepped in to halt the procedure, his lawyer said. His lawyers say he's mentally retarded, with an IQ of 70, but state prosecutors say Hill has repeatedly failed to prove that claim in court.

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Filed under: Courts • Crime • Death Penalty • Georgia • Justice
Court halts Tuesday execution
A Georgia Department of Corrections handout image from 2012 shows death row inmate Warren L. Hill.
February 19th, 2013
07:21 PM ET

Court halts Tuesday execution

[Updated at 7:21 p.m. ET] A federal appeals court has granted a stay of execution to convicted killer Warren Lee Hill, who was to have been put to death at 7 p.m. Tuesday in a Georgia prison, a staff attorney for the Georgia Resource Center told CNN.

Hill's lawyers had argued that his IQ of 70 meant he should be spared under a 2002 decision that barred the execution of the mentally disabled.

[Updated at 6:54 p.m. ET] The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a stay of execution for convicted murderer Warren Lee Hill, who is slated to be executed at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Jackson, Georgia.

His defenders say he should be spared because he is mentally disabled. Georgia's Supreme Court denied a request for a stay earlier today.

[Updated at 5:02 p.m. ET] The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles said it has denied the request for clemency from Warren Lee Hill. Hill is scheduled to die by lethal injection Tuesday for the 1990 killing of Joseph Handspike.

[Updated at 3:16 p.m. ET] In a 5-to-2 decision, Georgia's Supreme Court on Tuesday denied a stay of execution for convicted murderer Warren Lee Hill.

Hill, 53, is scheduled to be put to death at 7 p.m. by lethal injection at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson.

Hill was convicted of beating fellow inmate Joseph Handspike to death in 1990 with a nail-studded board while already serving a life sentence in the 1985 killing of his girlfriend, Myra Wright.

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Student shot at Atlanta school; fellow student in custody
A police tactical team takes up a position at Price Middle School in Atlanta, where a student was shot Thursday.
January 31st, 2013
04:54 PM ET

Student shot at Atlanta school; fellow student in custody

[Update 4:54 p.m. ET] Families are having joyful reunions as students pour out of four buses that have delivered them from Price Middle School in Atlanta, where a student was shot and wounded Thursday afternoon.

[Update 4:45 p.m. ET] Students are being loaded onto buses for transport home or to a nearby church where parents have assembled to wait for their children.

Police detectives are interviewing the victim in the hospital, his mother told CNN affiliate WSB-TV. He knows the assailant, who the mother said was "talking smack" to her son before pulling out a gun and firing, the station said.

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Filed under: Crime • Georgia • Gun violence • U.S.
December 17th, 2012
01:36 PM ET

World's oldest person dies at 115

Just days after becoming the world's oldest person, 115-year-old Dina Manfredini has died at a retirement home in Iowa.

Manfredini's youngest granddaughter, Lori Logli, told CNN she understood her that her grandmother died in her sleep during the night.

Guinness World Records had declared Manfredini the world's oldest person just days ago.

On December 4, Besse Cooper, age 116, died at a Georgia assisted-living center.

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Filed under: Georgia • Iowa
Atlanta police: Both officers killed in helicopter crash were fathers
The Atlanta police helicopter crashed while the officers onboard were looking for a missing boy.
November 4th, 2012
04:02 PM ET

Atlanta police: Both officers killed in helicopter crash were fathers

The Atlanta police department today identified the two officers killed in a helicopter crash last night as 48-year-old Richard Halford and 40-year-old Shawn Smiley.

Halford, who joined the force in 1986 and had been with its air unit the past 16 years, is survived by his former wife and a 21-year-old daughter. Smiley leaves behind his wife and three children - ages 5, 7 and 9 - and had joined the Atlanta police department in 2010.

The officers died when their helicopter went down while they were looking for a missing boy. Read more about the crash on CNN.com.

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Volunteer killed at Creflo Dollar's Georgia megachurch, police say
Police are looking for a gunman after the shooting at the Georgia megachurch of televangelist Creflo Dollar.
October 24th, 2012
04:27 PM ET

Volunteer killed at Creflo Dollar's Georgia megachurch, police say

Editor's note: A former employee of televangelist Creflo Dollar's Atlanta-area megachurch is suspected of fatally shooting one of the church's volunteer staff members as the volunteer was leading a prayer service there Wednesday morning, police say. The suspect, Floyd Palmer, 52, was arrested hours later at an Atlanta mall, the U.S. Marshals Service told CNN. Below are developments as they come in; for more on the shooting and Dollar's church, check out this story, and CNN affiliates WXIA, WSB and WGCL.

[Updated at 4:27 p.m. ET] The suspect in the shooting, Floyd Palmer, 52, was arrested Wednesday afternoon at Atlanta's Lenox Square mall, the U.S. Marshals Service says.

Earlier, police said Palmer was an former employee of World Changers Church International in College Park, Georgia, where the shooting happened Wednesday morning during a prayer service.

Floyd Palmer

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