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Police looking for smash-and-grab suspect who was more 'slip-and-slide'

An alleged convenience store robber who has trouble staying on her feet is being sought by authorities in Michigan.The clumsy suspect, along with her two accomplices, are being sought in connection with at least two convenience store robberies over the past week, police told WXYZ.

>> Read more trending news

Surveillance video from the latest robbery on Wednesday showed a male suspect jumping over the counter to grab money from the register. The female suspect followed, but had trouble getting over the counter, slipping and falling on her rear end. She grabbed packs of cigarettes, but struggled mightily once again trying to clear the counter.Her getaway was not clean either. The store owner told WXYZ that while the robbers broke the glass on the front door to enter, the female suspect could have just unlocked the door from the inside to leave. Instead, she climbed through the door's broken glass pane to escape, where she landed on her buttocks on her way to the getaway car, which police believe was driven by a female suspect.Despite the poor execution, the trio made off with about $3,000, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office told WXYZ. Authorities are working with Crime Stoppers to capture the suspects.

Police: Accused bank robber visits court first

An Albuquerque man made an unusual pit stop on his way to an alleged bank robbery: he visited a courthouse, police said.

>> Read more trending newsErmond Overton stopped at the courthouse Thursday to ask for pen and paper to write a demand note, KRQE reported.U.S. Marshals employees called police and Overton was arrested a short time later after allegedly robbing a nearby Wells Fargo branch with the demand note from the courthouse.

Ex-priest guilty in 57-year-old murder of woman who went to him to confess sins

A former parish priest was convicted Thursday of strangling to death a woman who vanished in 1960 after going to confession at a Texas church he was serving. 

John Feit, now 85, was sentenced on Friday to life in prison for the murder of Irene Garza. The 25-year-old teacher and former beauty queen visited Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen the evening of April 16, 1960, during Holy Week, and was never seen alive again.

According to the San Antonio Express-News, Garza’s body was found in a canal five days later, beaten and asphyxiated. Her autopsy showed that she had been raped while unconscious, then slain. 

Feit, who was living at the pastoral house in nearby San Juan and filling in as needed at area churches, gave investigators conflicting statements, initially stating that another priest who was present at Sacred Heart the night of the murder took Garza’s confession, the Express-News reported. Two months later, he contradicted himself, telling detectives that he was alone on duty that night. 

He admitted hearing Garza’s confession in the church rectory, but denied involvement in her death. 

The Dallas Morning News reported that Feit, then 27, was an early suspect in Garza’s murder, but prosecutors in the case presented evidence that elected officials in Hidalgo County conspired with church officials to block the investigation and avoid scandal in the Catholic Church. 

The young priest, who later spent time at a New Mexico treatment center, was later assigned to a supervisor role in which he cleared priests for assignment to parishes, the Morning News reported. One of the men he placed was James Porter, a priest who molested more than 100 victims before being defrocked and sentenced to prison. 

Feit left the priesthood in 1972 and later married. 

The Express-News reported that there was a lack of physical evidence pointing to Feit, but that two former clergymen came forward over the years and admitted that the former priest confessed his crime to them. 

One of those men, former monk Dale Tacheny, testified Monday that Feit confided in him about the murder in 1963, three years after the fact. Feit showed little remorse, Tacheny said. 

He did admit that he was still “haunted” by the sound of the heels Garza wore to the church the night he killed her, Tacheny testified. Those heels, along with other items of the victim’s clothing, were introduced into evidence at the trial. 

Tacheny told the court that Feit confessed to attacking Garza in the church rectory before putting her unconscious body in the basement while he went next door to the church to hear another parishioner’s confession. 

Feit took a break from his duties to move Garza to the pastoral house, the witness said. It was there that he left her to die, Tacheny said.

“He put the young lady in a bathtub,” Tacheny, 88, testified, according to the Express-News. “As he was leaving, the young lady said, ‘I cannot breathe. I cannot breathe.’ Then he left.”

Feit returned to the church to continue offering confession, Tacheny said. When he returned to the pastoral house the following day, Garza was dead. 

Tacheny, who worked with Feit at a monastery in Missouri, told the court that it was not his place in 1963 to take the priest’s confession to authorities, the Express-News reported. Instead, the monastery tried to modify Feit’s behavior toward women.

When asked by prosecutors why he finally approached San Antonio police after decades of silence, Tacheny wiped tears from his eyes.

“She had parents,” he said, according to the newspaper. 

Another colleague of Feit’s, Father Joseph O’Brien, told the Dallas Morning News in 2004 that Feit confessed to him that he killed Garza, the Express-News reported. O’Brien has since died and could not offer testimony at trial. 

Prosecutors stated at trial that O’Brien helped cover up the crime, getting rid of some of Garza’s belongings found at the rectory. 

>> Read more trending news

Jurors heard from at least one acquaintance of Feit’s in 1960, who testified to seeing scratch marks on the young priest’s hands in the days after the murder, the newspaper said. 

They also heard testimony from Ana Marie Hollingsworth, a friend of Garza’s, who said that Feit had previously pulled Garza from the confessional in the church to hear her confession in the rectory, a highly unusual practice. Garza was “disturbed” by the priest’s actions, Hollingsworth, now 83, said. 

Hollingsworth’s testimony contradicted Feit’s 1960 statements to police, in which he claimed he had never met Garza before taking her confession the night she disappeared. 

Jurors also heard about Feit’s threatening behavior toward women in the weeks before Garza was killed, including an attack on a woman at a church in Edinburg. He later pleaded no contest to assault and paid a $500 fine, the Express-News reported

A former television reporter testified that the Hidalgo County district attorney, who is now deceased, admitted to him off the record in 1960 that Feit’s plea deal in the assault case was part of a deal struck with church officials. 

Students describe terror after deadly shooting at New Mexico high school

Students huddled together in classrooms, hiding and attempting to stay silent Thursday after learning that a lockdown at New Mexico’s Aztec High School was the result of a gunman on campus and not a drill.

>> Read more trending news

Two people, identified by authorities as high school senior Casey Marquez and junior Francisco “Paco” Fernandez, were killed when a gunman opened fire at the school in rural Aztec just before 8 a.m. Thursday. Authorities said Friday that the gunman, identified as 21-year-old William Atchison, planned his attack beforehand and is believed to have killed himself after shooting Marquez and Fernandez.

Freshman Makenzie Rezac told The Arizona Republic that she and her classmates stayed in their seats when they heard that they were in lockdown. It wasn’t until an announcer came over the school’s intercom system -- warning that the lockdown was not a drill -- that students realized the severity of the situation.

Rezac told the Republic that she heard gunshots from far away coming closer.

"I’ve never heard gunshots before in person," she said. "We all thought maybe someone was going around banging on lockers, trying to scare us, or moving furniture. … When it came closer, I was like, 'Oh God, what’s going to happen? Is someone going to break in or shoot through the walls?' I was terrified. I was crying."

Sophomore Garrett Parker told KOAT that he was in a history class when he heard what sounded “like kids were just banging on the lockers.”

>> Related: 3 dead, including attacker, in New Mexico high school shooting, authorities say

“It started getting closer and louder, and it was obvious it was gunshots. We could hear gunshots from right outside our door,” Parker said. “At first, all I could think is, ‘This is it, if whoever comes in, I’m probably done.’”

He and his classmates gathered in a corner of the classroom as the shooting continued. When it was deemed safe enough for students to leave the classroom, Parker said he saw “right outside the door … someone lying dead.”

“I don’t know who it was,” he told KOAT. “It’s so hard, I just pray.”

Senior Bryn Divine told The Associated Press that she initially thought she was hearing a metal baseball bat hitting lockers when gunshots erupted down the hall from her history classroom Thursday morning.

"I stayed in my desk and I just prayed, 'Please just let this be over as soon as possible,'” she told the AP. “That was my first reaction.”

Aztec is a rural town of 6,500 people in the heart of northwestern New Mexico's oil and gas country and near the Navajo Nation. Its main street is lined by old brick buildings that date back more than a century.

Residents voiced disbelief on social media, while members of the New Mexico congressional delegation, state Attorney General Hector Balderas and other elected officials offered their condolences and other assistance.

“You hope that nothing ever happens at a school," Aztec School superintendent Kirk Carpenter said Thursday, according to the Farmington Daily Times. "But when it does, it’s (the) reaction, and our staff, even substitutes, reacted in a way that honestly saved a lot of lives. … We lost lives. … But to see the way people came together ... the response from law enforcement and this community is amazing."

Local, state and federal authorities said Thursday at a news conference that they had a lot of evidence to process and many interviews to conduct. They also were asking any students who might have seen something to call police.

Authorities continued Friday to investigate the circumstances that led to the shooting.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ohio woman, man indicted for creating porn with toddler

An Ohio woman and man were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges related to selling and creating child pornography, according to the United States Attorney’s Office in Cincinnati.

>> Read more trending news

Ciera Richter, 25, of Cincinnati, and Jason Fletcher, 40, of Franklin, were federally indicted Wednesday.

Fletcher was previously convicted by the state of Ohio of importuning a minor, among other crimes. Under the terms of his probation, he was not to possess pornography of any kind, according to Department of Justice spokeswoman Jennifer Thornton.

In May 2017, during a visit with his probation officer, the officer noticed Fletcher had two mobile devices and, after having Fletcher provide access to the devices, started to review the content on both phones.

The probation officer allegedly found pornography of a minor female on one of the phones and Fletcher was subsequently arrested, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A search of the phone revealed not only a collection of child pornography, but also child pornography videos made with the phone. Some of the videos on the phone allegedly involved Fletcher, Richter and a 2-year-old.

In the videos, Richter allegedly helped hold, entertain and position the toddler, while Fletcher allegedly recorded himself sexually abusing the child, according to court records.

Richter procured the 2-year-old for the purpose of making the videos and intended to sell the videos, according to the indictment and other court documents.

“Richter provided the toddler to Fletcher with the knowledge that as a consequence of the transfer, the 2-year-old would be portrayed in child pornography,” said Benjamin C. Glassman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, in a statement. “Offenses like those alleged here are among the most heinous, and most important, that we prosecute. We take seriously our duty and responsibility to keep children safe from those who would prey upon them.”

Richter and Fletcher are each charged with one count of conspiracy to produce child pornography and production of child pornography. Those crimes carry a potential sentence of 15 to 30 years in prison.

Fletcher faces a potential range of 35 years to life in prison because he has at least two prior state convictions for crimes involving children.

Richter is also charged with one count of selling a child, which is punishable by 30 years to life in prison.

Medical examiner: Florida woman was stabbed, suffocated

More details have emerged about the death of a 56-year-old Florida woman who vanished from her boss’ Winter Park home in September.

>> Read more trending news

A medical examiner said Jennifer Lynn Fulford, of Altamonte Springs, was stabbed and suffocated 20 miles from where she was abducted, but a motive remains unclear.

Scott Edward Nelson was arrested Wednesday and faces charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping with a weapon, burglary and carjacking, police said.

Three days after Fulford disappeared, her body was found by the Orange County Sheriff’s Office helicopter in a wooded area.

According to documents, her hands and feet were bound and her face duct-taped.

Fulford, who worked for a family in Winter Park, was reported missing Sept. 27 after her boss received a call that she did not pick up his son from school.

Her purse was found on the floor of the Winter Park home, but her keys, wallet, and cellphone were gone.

That same day, police released surveillance photos of Nelson at a Winter Park Wells Fargo ATM.

Records show he bought an Amtrak train ticket out of town 20 minutes later.

Fulford’s car was found at a Publix parking lot the day after she disappeared, police said.

A comforter was found in her backseat, and detectives believe her body was wrapped in it at some point.

A white towel and a T-shirt with blood on it were also found in the vehicle, both of which belonged to Nelson, police said.

Police don’t believe Fulford and Nelson had met before she was killed.

Police: Argument over pajamas leads to toddler's death

A Missouri man, upset when a toddler had not put on her pajamas, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder after the child was allegedly thrown to the floor, where she hit her head and later died, police said.

>> Read more trending news

Jalen Dashawn Vaden, 22, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of child abuse, and Jasper County Prosecutor Theresa Kenney on Thursday charged him with second-degree murder and felony child abuse. He remains on a no-bond hold, Kenney told The Joplin Globe.

The charges allege Vaden inflicted serious injuries on the girl, "causing her head to strike the floor and that she died as result of those injuries," Kenney said.

A probable-cause affidavit filed Thursday by the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office said Vaden admitted to the acts during an interview with a sheriff’s deputy Wednesday, the Globe reported.

On Nov. 27, investigators from the Carl Junction Police Department were called to the home of 3-year-old Jayda Kyle, who was found unresponsive in her bedroom, police said.

Vaden was described as a “live-in boyfriend” of the child’s mother by police, KOAM reported.

According to investigators, Vaden told Kyle to put on her pajamas. When she failed to do so, Valen allegedly threw the child to the floor, where she hit her head. When Kyle still had not put on the pajamas, Vaden allegedly threw the girl onto her bed two times, KOAM reported.

Investigators said that Vaden then allegedly grabbed Kyle’s leg, “tossing her face first” onto the floor, KOAM reported. Vaden then left the bedroom, returning a short time later to find the child bleeding and unresponsive, police said.

Kyle was taken to a hospital in Kansas City, where she died, police said.

Carl Junction police Chief Delmar Hasse said Kyle's mother was cleared of any wrongdoing, KOAM reported.

USA Gymnastics doctor sentenced to 60-year prison term

A judge sentenced a Michigan sports doctor to 60 years in federal prison for child pornography crimes, one of three criminal cases against a man who also has admitted to assaulting female gymnasts.

>> Read more trending news

Larry Nassar worked at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. Federal Judge Janet Neff followed the government’s recommended sentence Thursday. The Michigan sports doctor admitted he molested gymnasts and kept a staggering collection of child pornography — investigators found more than 37,000 images of child porn on Nassar’s electronic devices in 2016. Separately, he has pleaded guilty to molesting gymnasts with his hands in the Lansing, Michigan, area under the guise of treatment.

Neff said Nassar, 54, “should never again have access to children.”

In January, he will be sentenced for the cases related to his molestation of former gymnasts in his care.

Florida man accused of attacking woman he stalked on Instagram

A Florida man faces multiple charges after he was accused of stalking and attacking a woman with whom he became obsessed on Instagram.

>> Read more trending news

Boynton Beach police arrested Michael Maurice Williams, 25, early Thursday after alleging he entered a 20-year-old woman’s bedroom through a window in late November and battered both her and one of her younger relatives. A 10-year-old boy related to the woman rushed to her aid, using a knife to help fend off Williams, police said.

The woman told police investigators that she believed Williams had been watching her through her bedroom window at least once every two weeks over the past year.

She told investigators she was in that room at about 4 p.m. Tuesday when she noticed someone outside her window and began to scream. The woman ran to the living room and looked out the window but saw no one outside, according to police. When she returned her bedroom, Williams was waiting, police said. He allegedly pushed the woman onto the bed and attempted to remove some of her clothing.

She screamed as she fought him off, police said. Her 10-year-old relative entered the room with a knife and attempted to defend her. Williams pushed the boy’s head back to keep him at bay, police said.

The woman and her relative were able to push Williams out of the room and the residence as another young relative called 911. The man declined medical treatment.

The woman told investigators she did not know Williams, but that he began following her on the social media platform Instagram after she began a career in music. Williams was given a trespass warning at her home last December, according to an arrest report. He was accused at that time of breaking a lock to the same bedroom window through which he recently entered the home, according to authorities.

Williams faces charges of burglary with battery, false imprisonment and criminal mischief. A judge Thursday ordered that he be held without bail and have no contact with either the alleged victim or witnesses.

Bicyclist, pedestrians among 6 injured in suspected New York road rage crash

Six people were taken to hospitals in New York City on Thursday afternoon after a driver struck a pair of vehicles, a cyclist and three pedestrians in what police are characterizing as a suspected road rage incident.

>> Read more trending news

The incident started around 1:20 p.m. when a Lincoln Continental hit the back of a Ford Explorer near the intersection of Liberty Street and Broadway, according to police. The Lincoln continued eastbound and struck the rear-end of a Mercedes SUV before coming to a stop.

Six people were injured in the crash, including the drivers of the Ford and the Mercedes. NYPD Deputy Inspector Mark Ioc said two pedestrians were hit near the intersection of Liberty Street and Broadway while a third was hit near the area where the Lincoln stopped. A bicyclist was also injured.

Ioc said the injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

“Right now we are investigating this as a road rage incident,” he said at a news conference Thursday afternoon. He added that the incident did not appear to be intentional.

Police continue to investigate the cause of the suspected road rage.

Ioc said the Lincoln’s driver “did not seem to be in any medical distress” when officers found him and the heavily damaged car. The driver was taken into custody for questioning, WNBC reported.

The crash happened less than a mile from the path where a driver plowed into bicyclists and pedestrians in October, killing eight people and injuring 12 others. Police identified the driver as Sayfullo Saipov, 29, and deemed that attack an act of terror. Saipov has pleaded not guilty to multiple murder charges and providing material support to ISIS.

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