Former NFL Player Darren Sharper Appears In Court
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Darren Sharper Sentenced To 20 Years For Drugging And Raping 2 Women In California

The retired NFL player will be elligible for parole in the state in 2024. 

A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge sentenced retired NFL player Darren Sharper to 20 years in prison for drugging and raping two women in Los Angeles, bookending what has been several prison sentences for a series of sexual assaults.

Sharper, 41, was sentenced Tuesday (Nov. 29) in accordance with a “global plead deal” in light of attacks against as many as 16 women across four different states, according to the Los Angeles Times.

During his sentencing, Sharper’s rape victims shared horrific accounts of being drugged and assaulted by the onetime New Orleans Saints safety.

“I can only imagine myself lying there like a vegetable while he took advantage of my body without my permission,” one woman said in court. “I have lost every bit of self confidence I’ve ever had and am always in fear while alone. It doesn’t matter whether it’s day or night, I can see a guy and automatically in my head think, ‘What if this guy tries to rape me?’”

Following the victim statements, Superior Court Judge Michael E. Pastor lambasted the former professional athlete while lauding the "two alleged victims" for detailing the “unfathomable effect” that Sharper's actions has had on their lives.

“I think their individual statements speak volumes as to this disgraceful abuse of trust and the behavior of Mr. Sharper,” Pastor said.

Sharper was originally arrested in Los Angeles in January 2014 for two separate counts of sexual assault. He pleaded not guilty to the charges a month later, but the apprehension led to further accusations and eventual indictments on rape and drug charges in Arizona, Nevada, and Louisiana, in addition to California. Sharper has pleaded not guilty and no contest to various charges.

In May 2015, Sharper attempted a guilty plea in exchange for a nine-year prison sentence. The deal was later rejected by a federal judge, though a new agreement was reached. On Aug. 18, 2016, Sharper was sentenced to 18 years and four months in federal prison, a sentence which he is appealing. A week later, he was hit with another 20-year sentence by a state judge for three rapes in Louisiana.

All of Sharper’s sentences will run concurrent.

The disgraced professional athlete has been behind bars for two years, making him eligible for parole in California in 2024. As CBS News notes, the state requires him to serve at least half of the 20-year sentence.

 

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Florida Judge Clears Record Of Man Who Overslept And Missed Jury Duty

A Florida judge made headlines last week when he sentenced a man to 10 days in jail for oversleeping and missing jury duty. Now, CNN reports the judge has cleared the young man's record.

Judge John Kastrenakes found 21-year-old Deandre Somerville in contempt of court for not showing up to jury duty during a civil trial. Kastrenakes vacated the contempt of court charge and cleared Somerville's record.

The West Palm Beach resident was originally sentenced to 10 days, 150 hours of community service, a written apology of no less than 100 words and $233 in fines. Judge Kastrenakes' decision prompted swift outrage on social media as Sommerville does not have a criminal record.

The judge reportedly reduced the sentence Friday when Sommerville appeared before the court to read the letter. "Before my hearing, I walked into the courtroom a free man with no criminal record. I left a criminal in handcuffs. This was an immature decision that I made, and I paid the price for my freedom," Somerville said while reading his letter.

On Saturday the Judge said Somerville's letter was 'moving, sincere and heartfelt " and noted that he "has been totally rehabilitated."

Kastrenakes said he ordered probation because he wanted to send a message that jury duty is "is serious business deserving of attention, respect, and adherence to their oaths." However, he said Somerville is "a thoughtful and respectful young man."

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A Texas Man Robbed A Bank The Day Before His Wedding To Pay For The Ring

A Texas man has been charged with aggravated robbery for robbing a bank the day before his wedding to pay for the ring and venue.

According to reports, Heath Edward Bumpus approached a bank teller at Citizens State Bank on Saturday (Oct. 4) and said he had a weapon and demanded money, which he left with.

“He basically stated that he was getting married tomorrow so he didn’t have enough money for a wedding ring that he wanted to buy and he needed to pay for the wedding venue,” Sheriff Woody Wallace said.

After learning of the robbery, Wallace posted Bumpus' photo on Trinity County Sherriff’s Facebook page in hopes the public would assist with his capture. In an ironic turn of events, Bumpus' fiancee saw the photo, called him and convinced him to turn himself into authorities.

“His fiancée, who he was supposed to marry tomorrow, was able to get in touch with him on the phone when she saw our post on Facebook. She knew it was him. She contacted him and asked him if he robbed a bank. She convinced him that she knew it was him. His picture was all on Facebook. He needed to turn himself in,” said Wallace in a video posted to his Facebook page.

Wallace said most of the money was returned, along with the clothes he threw out the window of his car and the gun he hid during the robbery.

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NYPD Arrests 24-Year-Old Suspect In Quadruple Homeless Homicide

There appears to be no rhyme or reason behind the vicious attacks on five of New York City's homeless, which has left not only the community but other New Yorkers shaking their heads in dismay.

According to The New York Times, Rudy Rodriguez Santos was arrested and charged in the quadruple homicide, which took place at about 2 AM Saturday (Oct. 5) in the Chinatown section of the city. Authorities have not released the names of the victims but revealed one of them was an 83-years-old man. The fifth victim has been transported to a nearby hospital.

Advocates for the homeless say there's no way to know exactly how many men and women are living on the street, however, in a 2018 tally the number was 3,588, with 62,000 men and women living in shelters.

Blocks away from the scene, police found 24-year-old Santos holding a bloody metal bar. He was reportedly taken into custody without incident.

“The motive appears to be, right now, just random attacks,” Michael Baldassano, the chief of Manhattan South Detectives said. “No one was targeted by race, age, anything of that nature.”

Santos was captured on surveillance footage approaching the area where one of the attacks took place. Another attack was recorded on a security camera. When approached by investigators, Santos identified himself in the video but didn't confess to the crime. He later asked for an attorney.

Tang Wu, a manager of the Forever Health Pharmacy at 2 East Broadway, caught the attacks on his store's camera and was flabbergasted at the callousness of it all.

“They have nowhere to live and you beat them to death,” Wu said. “How terrible.”

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