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Judge Overturns Double Life Sentences For D.C. Sniper, Lee Boyd Malvo

A Supreme Court ruling fueled the decision. 

Lee Boyd Malvo, who was convicted for a shooting spree in Washington D.C. area more than a decade ago, has had his life sentences overturned by a federal judge. According to the Los Angeles Times, District Court Judge Raymond Jackson tossed the double life-without-parole sentences Friday (May 26) because of Malvo's was only 17 at the original time of sentencing.

Jackson’s decision was based off a 2012 Supreme Court ruling making it unconstitutional to issue mandatory life sentences for juveniles. In 2016, the court opted to apply the ruling retroactively, making parole a possibility for thousands of inmates who were sentenced as minors.

Malvo, now 32, has been serving his time at the Virginia's Red Onion State Prison. Though his case will return to the state court, there's still a possibility that he will be sentenced to life again.

At the time of sentencing jurors had only two options “death” or "life without parole,” the Washington Post reports. While Malvo got life in prison, his accomplice, John Allen Muhammad received the death penalty and was executed in 2009.

Malvo, a native of Jamaica came to the U.S. illegally and was apprehended by border patrol in 2001 and reconnected with Muhammad not long after his release in January 2002. The two began living in  a homeless shelter, and Malvo enrolled in high school before he and Muhammad would embark on a murderous killing spree.

A decade after the 2002 shootings that claimed over a dozen lives, Malvo sat down for what he said would be his final interview on the sniper attacks. He claimed that Muhammad, a family friend, had sexually abused and manipulated him.

“For the entire period when I was almost 15 until I got arrested, I was sexually abused by John Muhammad,” Malvo told the Today show’s Matt Lauer in a 2012.

“The main reason I’m coming forward now is because I am more mature,” he explained. “As far as the guilt that I carried around for several years, I dealt with that to a large extent for years. And now, I can handle this. In here, there’s no therapy. Rehabilitation is just a word. In solitary confinement, in a cell by yourself, I am priest, doctor, therapist. So, it’s just worked out that I just took it off piece by piece. That I could handle it.”

Malvo also stated that he has forgiven himself for the murders, before sharing some advice for loved one of his victims.

"Please do not allow my actions and the actions of Muhammad to hold you hostage and continue to victimize you for the rest of your life," said Malvo. "If you give those images and thoughts that power, it will continue to inflict that suffering over and over and over and over again. Do not give me or him that much power.”

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Ex-Cop Pleads To Manslaughter After Leaving Toddler In Hot Car To Have Sex

Former Mississippi cop Cassie Baker may spend 20 years behind bars for leaving her toddler in the backseat of a police cruiser while she had sex with her supervisor.

Little Cheyenne's body temperature rose to a scorching 107 degrees before she died on Sept. 30, 2016. When Baker returned to the vehicle four hours later, Cheyenne was unresponsive. Baker, 29, pled guilty to manslaughter in a reduced plea deal Monday. (March 18) It's unclear if she intentionally left her 3-year-old in the backseat of the car.

“I don’t know what I could ever do to you that could be worse than what you’ve already experienced,” Harrison County Circuit Judge Larry Bourgeois told her. “You will forever be entombed in a prison of your own mind.”

Cheyenne's father says he's still tormented by his daughter's death and often pictures her final moments.

“Every time I close my eyes, I picture her suffering, and then I picture her laying in this coffin,” Ryan Hyer said Monday. “I still see her smiling and laughing in my head, and I would assume that smile and laughter turned to pain and suffering in that instance.”

Baker and her supervisor Clark Ladner were fired days later. While speaking with the Associated Press, he was able to avoid charges after telling authorities he was unaware Baker's daughter was in the car. Judge Bourgeois will consider the prosecution recommendation at Baker's April 1 sentencing.

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8-Year-Old Nigerian Chess Champion's Big Win Helps His Family Out Of Homelessness

An 8-year-old Nigerian chess prodigy is helping his family out of homelessness. Tanitoluwa “ Tani” Adewumi, won the New York State Scholastic Chess Championship last week, beating out more than 70 of the state’s top young chess players, all while living in a homeless shelter.

Tani, who was recently profiled in the New York Times, and his family fled Nigeria in 2017, reportedly out of fear of being targeted by Boko Haram. The family applied for asylum, and have since been living in a New York shelter.

The third grader learned to play chess a year ago at his elementary school, P.S. 116. Tani’s coach, Russell Makofsky marveled at his ability to learn chess so quickly. "His intellect, his aptitude, his capacity to learn chess is off the charts,” Makofsky said. “From not playing to beating the best of the best in one year is unheard of, all while living in a homeless shelter.”

Tani has been getting a lot of attention for his big win. A GoFundMe page launched on March 15 with a goal of raising $50,000 to help Tani’s family “secure a home where he can continue his journey,” has raised more than $182,000. An attorney has also agreed to work on the family’s asylum case for free, CBS News reports.

The family now plans to move into an apartment, and posted an update on the GoFundMe page Tuesday (March 19) sharing their gratitude for the donations, Tani’s chess coach, and the media for publicizing the story. “Our big shout out to the whole WORLD for all your support financially, morally, spiritually and many more can't [be] mentioned. You are all awesome. God bless you all.”

According to the post, proceeds from the crowdfunding effort will be donated to a new foundation that the family will be starting in Tani's name.

See more on his story below.

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Connecticut School Employee Resigns After Racist Grocery Store Video Goes Viral

A  Connecticut resident has resigned from her position at the Hamden Public School District after a video posted to Facebook shows her using racial slurs and spitting on two black people while at a local Shop Rite.

According to The New Haven Register, Corinne Terrone who was a clerk in the district's central office, is seen with her two children when the confrontation erupts. Terrone uses the N-Word three times and spits at a black man and black woman. It's unclear how the clash begins.

After Terrone's first use of the slur, the man on video rushes toward Terrone as she attempts to take her phone out and record. “Put your hands on me, come on!” she says. He then slaps the phone out of her hand. That's the only physical encounter between the two caught on video.

The Facebook post, which has received more than 180,000 views, overwhelmingly supported the black man and woman. A spokesman for the school wrote on the district's website that Terrone "has been separated from employment effective immediately.”

“While it appears as though this happened after work hours on Friday evening, the Human Resource Director contacted the employee and arranged an investigatory meeting with her. Shortly after final arrangements were made for the investigatory meeting, the employee rendered her resignation effective immediately.”

Due to the fact that Terrone's children were present during the verbal assault, the district filed a report with DCF services.

Republican State Sen. Len Fasano and state Rep. Joseph Zullo released a joint statement condemning Terrone's language and behavior.

“What we saw in this video is repulsive and deeply offensive and does not represent the people of East Haven or our values. The behavior is shocking and upsetting and has no place anywhere, including in our community,” Fasano and Zullo said in the statement. “We understand Hamden Public Schools has acted quickly to seek this employee’s resignation. East Haven police are also seeking more information and urging any potential victims or witnesses involved to come forward. Hate speech and violence will not be tolerated in our community.”

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