April 5th, 2013
07:56 AM ET

Associate of suspected Colorado killer arrested

Colorado Springs police have arrested a man who authorities want to question in relation to the March shooting death of prison chief Tom Clements.

James Lohr, who police said is a member of a white supremacist prison gang, is an associate of Evan Ebel, the man suspected of killing Clements, Lt. Jeff Kramer of the El Paso County, Colorado, sheriff's department said.

Lohr had multiple misdemeanor warrants out for his arrest, and it was not immediately clear if he is facing new charges.

In addition to Lohr, police were on the lookout for another Ebel associate, Thomas Guolee, 31.

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Filed under: Colorado • Crime
March 28th, 2013
02:25 PM ET

Official: Colo. suspect had tracking device

The 28-year-old convict suspected of shooting to death Colorado's prison chief left prison wearing an ankle bracelet tracking device when he was paroled, according to a Colorado law enforcement official who has examined Evan Ebel's prison case file.

While that new detail emerged Thursday, a 22-year-old woman police say is connected to the case appeared in court.

Stevie Marie Vigil of Commerce City made a "straw purchase" from a weapons dealer and gave the gun to Evan Ebel, a convicted felon who could not purchase his own firearm, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Colorado prisons chief Tom Clements was shot to death at his home outside Colorado Springs on March 19. Ebel, 28, was killed two days later in northern Texas in a gun battle with authorities that left a sheriff's deputy wounded.

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Filed under: Colorado • Crime
March 22nd, 2013
10:58 AM ET

Focus on Colorado parolee in prison chief's death

Colorado investigators are in Decatur, Texas, Friday morning eager to examine evidence found in a black Cadillac whose driver might have been involved in the slaying of Colorado's prison system chief.

The driver was Evan Ebel, a former Colorado prison inmate, El Paso County, Colorado, Undersheriff Paula Presley confirmed to CNN Friday. He died Thursday evening after being shot at the end of a high-speed chase that followed the wounding of a deputy.

Ebel is the focus of the investigation into the shooting Tuesday of Colorado corrections chief Tom Clements, who was shot dead Tuesday evening as he opened the door of his rural Colorado home.

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Filed under: Colorado • Crime • Texas
911 calls from theater shooting: Sobbing, gunfire, confusion
A sketch of defendant James Holmes in a Colorado court. A preliminary hearing is being held in his case this week.
January 8th, 2013
02:26 PM ET

911 calls from theater shooting: Sobbing, gunfire, confusion

Emergency phone calls from last July's Colorado movie theater shooting in a court hearing played by prosecutors in a court hearing this morning reveal some of the horror and confusion from that night.

Because the movie was still playing during the shooting and, in at least one call, the gunman was still stalking the theater, the calls are difficult to make out. In one, there's too much sound to make out what the caller was saying, but the gunshots were unmistakable: At least 30 gunshots in 27 seconds.

In another, a 13-year-old girl called to say her cousins had been shot. A 911 operator tried to lead the sobbing girl through performing CPR on one who was still breathing.

Tuesday's proceeding was a preliminary hearing for James Holmes, a 25-year-old former neuroscience graduate student accused of killing 12 people at a midnight showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in Aurora, Colorado.

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February 4th, 2012
05:12 PM ET

Contentious meeting reflects N.Y. community divided by medical mystery

A community meeting Saturday at a school where over a dozen children have developed tic-like symptoms quickly became contentious, further dividing an already-polarized community.

The meeting came after calls for more thorough environmental testing.

Doctors have diagnosed most of the children and one adult suffering from the symptoms with "conversion disorder," a condition induced by stress. When occurring in clusters the condition is sometimes called "mass hysteria."

But some environmental activists have suggested that some sort of toxin may be causing the condition in the western New York state community.

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Filed under: Health • New York
Tourists abandon Bahamas as Irene nears
Hurricane Irene looks pretty impressive from the international space station.
August 24th, 2011
01:10 PM ET

Tourists abandon Bahamas as Irene nears

NASSAU, Bahamas (CNN) - It's quieter than you might expect here in paradise as Hurricane Irene bears down on the Bahamas. The beaches are as beautiful as ever and the people just as friendly.

Except many of the beaches have yellow tape blocking them. "DO NOT ENTER," the tape reads, and nobody has. There are very few tourists left. Most departed on cruise ships that pulled out of port overnight or caught flights out before the airport closes Wednesday afternoon.

Those tourists who remain are hunkering down in large hotels built to withstand intense storms.

Without tourists there is no reason for the souvenir shops and restaurants to stay open. Most have metal hurricane shutters or plywood sheets covering the doors and windows.

Brian Nottage owns an ice cream parlor, dive shop and T-shirt store on Bay Street in downtown Nassau. He stayed open Wednesday morning hoping departing tourists may enjoy an ice cream cone on their way out of town but after a few hours he gave up and was putting up the shutters on his businesses.

"We've been through quite a few hurricanes, so we're pretty much prepared," he says. "Just basic shutters on all the windows and doors. (With) this particular building we have to be conscious of the flooding, so we tape up the whole of the door because you never know how high the water will get."

In typical island fashion, Nottage maintains a mellow demeanor. He's owned his businesses for 30 years and has seen many storms.

"I don't think we'll get more than 100, 105 mph winds at best. It's still pretty strong, but we've been through that quite a bit," he says, a little more casually than most people would with a hurricane heading their way.

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Bahamians have few other options. New Providence Island is only about 20 miles long, so outrunning the storm is out of the question.

Before long the task is done and Nottage's shutters are all hung.

"It takes a matter of 10 minutes to do a window because we've done it so often," he says. "Mostly we put them up for near-misses, but this one looks like we're going to get it."

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Filed under: Bahamas • Hurricanes • Tropical weather
Water tops Minot, N.D., dikes as residents seem resigned to major flooding
Minot's Troy Erickson and his neighbors have built a dike around their homes and plan to ride out the flood, he says.
June 22nd, 2011
02:25 PM ET

Water tops Minot, N.D., dikes as residents seem resigned to major flooding

[Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET] Sirens were sounding Wednesday in Minot, North Dakota, urging residents to evacuate in the face of major flooding.

The sirens came on the heels of news that water had begun flowing over the city's dikes, which are leaking in some places.

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Colorado dispensary selling 'Joints for Japan'
Compassionate Pain Management is donating its proceeds from marijuana joint sales to Red Cross relief efforts in Japan.
March 25th, 2011
05:38 PM ET

Colorado dispensary selling 'Joints for Japan'

Lakewood, Colorado (CNN) – When the earthquake hit Japan, Shaun Gindi knew he wanted to help.

"I couldn't believe the devastation. I watched everything get wiped away. Their whole lives were gone," he said. "There was a moment where I started looking at ways to fly over there, ways to somehow get there to help out."

Gindi knows nothing about search and rescue, so he soon abandoned that plan. But he is an expert in one area: medical marijuana.

He runs two dispensaries in the Denver area called Compassionate Pain Management. They legally sell marijuana to patients who have received a recommendation from a doctor.

He floated the idea of raising money for Japan on his dispensary’s Facebook page and got a dozen "likes" right away. He knew immediately that he could use his dispensary to raise money. Thus was born "Joints for Japan."

"What we're going to do is take all the revenue from the hand-rolled medicine, 100% of it, from this weekend and potentially for the next few weeks … and we're going to donate it to the Red Cross," Gindi said.

"Hand-rolled medicine" is medical marijuana-speak for a joint, or a marijuana cigarette. They contain half of a gram of marijuana and are the most popular item in the store. At $5 each, Gindi says, they sell thousands a month.

"We get a lot of people who just come in for these," Gindi said.

The most difficult part of the endeavor has been coming up with the fundraiser's name. Gindi’s business is legal under Colorado law. He pays taxes and has 18 full-time employees. But the industry still struggles for respectability.

With that in mind, Gindi rejected contenders such as "Bake for the Quake" and "Joint Relief."

Gindi hopes his fundraising efforts help bring a bit more respectability to the medical marijuana industry. But ultimately, it is the people of Japan he truly hopes to help.

"In Japan every day, the number of lives lost jumps up. Whatever we can do to help out, we’d like to do."

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Filed under: 2011 tsunami • Japan • Medical Marijuana
November 10th, 2010
10:52 PM ET

Amazon.com book defending pedophilia sparks boycott

A listing for 'The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure' is no longer on Amazon.com.

[Updated at 10:52 p.m. ET] The title no longer appears in Kindle's Top 100 Paid Bestsellers.

[Updated at 10:47 p.m. ET] The listing for "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct" is no longer available on Amazon.com. The title still appears in Kindle's Top 100 Paid Bestsellers at number 96, with 2,066 comments.

An e-book for sale on Amazon.com that appears to defend pedophilia has sparked hundreds of angry user comments and threats to boycott the online retailer unless it pulls the title.

Nearly 1,700 users who had commented on the title as of 9:40 p.m. ET deplored its publication and vowed to boycott Amazon until it removes the self-published title from the site. At least two Facebook  pages have been set up dedicated to boycotting Amazon because of the book.

The stated content appears to violate two of Amazon's content guidelines for digital publication. The company has not returned CNN's repeated requests for comment.

The author of "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: A Child-Lover's Code of Conduct" said he published the controversial tome to address what he considers unfair portrayals of pedophiles in the media.

"True pedophiles love children and would never hurt them," Phillip R. Greaves II said in a phone interview with CNN on Wednesday.

When asked if the self-published e-book was a "how-to manual," he said, "there are certain parts that are advisory," which set out lines that should not be crossed.

"Penetration is out. You can't do that with a child, but kissing and fondling I don't think is that big of a problem," he said.

The Pueblo, Colorado, man told CNN that he has not had sexual contact with a child as an adult, but did when he was a teenager. He also said he "was introduced to oral sex when I was 7" by an older female but did not provide specifics.

In the title's Amazon.com product description, Greaves described it as "my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian [sic] rules for these adults to follow.

"I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter [sic] sentences should they ever be caught," he said.

Most users who commented on the title said they deplored its publication and vowed to boycott Amazon until it removes the title.

"It is ILLEGAL to molest children, and for Amazon to promote such is insane. I'm an abuse survivor, and am OUTRAGED Amazon would choose to promote this nonsense. I will not be purchasing anything from your website until this is removed," one user wrote in a comment echoed by others.

Others lamented they could not give the book less than "one star" in submitting their reviews, saying they would shop elsewhere during the holiday season.

"Cannot believe that Amazon is selling this. I was in the middle of placing my whole Christmas shopping order when I saw something about this. After reviewing it, I have canceled my order from Amazon and am encouraging all of my friends not to order from Amazon because they are choosing to sell this book. I will not be purchasing anything from Amazon until they agree to quit selling this book," another user said.

Amazon did not return CNN's requests for comment, but one user posted what it said was Amazon's response to an e-mail the person had sent.

"Let me assure you that Amazon.com does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts; we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions."

"Amazon.com believes it is censorship not to sell certain titles because we believe their message is objectionable."

The company's website provides content guidelines for titles sold through its Digital Text Platform Program. The guidelines say publishers are expected to conduct proper research to ensure that titles are in compliance with all local, state, national and international laws.

"If Amazon Digital Services, Inc. determines that the content of a Title is prohibited, we may summarily remove or alter it without returning any fees. Amazon Digital Services, Inc. reserves the right to make judgments about whether or not content is appropriate," the guidelines state.

Pornography, offensive material and "titles which may lead to... illegal activity" are among the prohibited content listed in the guidelines.

What Amazon deems offensive, "is probably about what you would expect" the guidelines state, without elaboration, except to say that, "Amazon Digital Services, Inc. reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of Titles sold on our site."

A few Amazon.com users defended the author's right to free speech, and a discussion on the site titled "Why Amazon is Right" delved into the constitutional implications of the controversy.

"While I think 99.9 percent of us object to pedophilia (even though I think this particular book was a publicity stunt/joke), I think we can all agree that we don't want someone else censoring a subject matter that we may be interested in. Religion, atheism, homosexuality, etc. are some subjects that spring to mind ... and they have been censored in the past until we realized that it's best to let all information in (even if we don't like some of it), rather than allow some authority or individual decide what we can and can't know about based on their own opinions or motivations," one user wrote.

The author has three other titles on Amazon.com under his name. They are available on the e-reader, Kindle, and all were published within the last week.

Greaves described himself as a former nurses' aid and in-home health care provider who is retired and on disability for "manic depression." He said he first began writing as a child and hopes to continue doing so full time.

But conspiracy theories over the book abound, with commenters citing it as a publicity stunt, a hoax, or perhaps a law enforcement sting.

"People... Relax... This book is obviously promoted by Amazon per request of FBI in order to track down and catch pedophiles. This book is obviously a bait for the sickos that are lurking around out there trying to prey on our children."

June 22nd, 2010
03:13 PM ET

Source: Alleged bin Laden hunter to be released by Pakistan

An American man detained last week in Pakistan while on a hunt for Osama bin Laden will be released Tuesday with no charges filed, a source close to Gary Faulkner's family told CNN. Faulkner, who suffers from kidney disease, has been given dialysis in a Pakistani military hospital in Islamabad and is in good condition, the source said.

U.S. officials in Pakistan were allowed to meet last Thursday with the American, according to an embassy spokesman.

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Filed under: Pakistan • Security Brief