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NYC Medical Examiner Says Muslim Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam Drowned Herself

Her death has officially been ruled a suicide. 

The death of Sheila Abdus-Salaam has been ruled a suicide. Abdus-Salaam -- the first female muslim judge to be appointed to New York’s highest court -- drowned herself, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner announced in a press release Wednesday (July 26).

Abdus-Salaam’s body was found floating in the Hudson River on April 12. Though her death was once deemed “suspicious,” the NYPD closed and transferred the investigation over the city’s coroner’s office in May.

According to the New York Daily News, Abdus-Salaam was rumored to have battled with depression prior to her death. A CNN report claims her brother died from suicide in 2014.

Surveillance footage reportedly captured Abdus-Salaam seven times in the hours leading up to her death. The apparent footage shows the 65-year-old judge walking around Harlem between W. 131st and W. 145th streets.

A final recording of Abdus-Salaam allegedly shows her headed to the Hudson River by way of the W. 145th street entrance at Riverbank State Park, the Daily News reports.

A week after her death, Abdu-Salaam’s husband, Rev. Gregory Jacobs, denied suicide claims and urged the media to “refrain from baseless commentary” without “conclusive evidence.”

“Despite the ongoing investigation, some media outlets and others have conjectured that Sheila was the victim of a ‘probable suicide.’ These reports have frequently included unsubstantiated comments concerning my wife’s possible mental and emotional state of mind at the time of her death,” Jacobs wrote in a statement. “Those of us who loved Sheila and knew her well do not believe that these unfounded conclusions have any basis in reality. And in the absence of any conclusive evidence, we believe such speculations to be unwarranted and irresponsible.”

“We therefore call upon the media and responsible public officials to refrain from any baseless commentary and conjecture concerning the circumstances surrounding the death of our beloved Sheila.”

Jacobs did not speak out on the medical examiner’s findings.

Abdus-Salaam, a Washington D.C. native and Columbia Law School graduate, began her 40-year legal career as an attorney with Brooklyn Legal Services. From there, she became an assistant attorney general for the New York State Department of Law in civil rights and real estate financing, and would go on to join the New York City Civil Court. She also served as a New York Supreme Court Justice for more than a decade before becoming associate justice in the court’s appellate division.

In 2013, Abdus-Salaam became the first black woman to be appointed to the New York Court of Appeals.

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Georgia Mom Posts Tender Photos Of Her Children Before Allegedly Killing Them And Herself

A Georgia woman posted a heartwarming picture of her and her children before allegedly shooting them to death and then turning the gun on herself.

According to The New York Daily News, Cobb County Police discovered three bodies inside a townhome home while conducting a welfare check Wednesday evening. Marsha Edwards, 58, reportedly shot and killed her 20-year-old daughter Erin Edwards and her 24-year-old son Christopher Edwards before taking her own life.

Erin, a rising senior at Boston University, interned with NBC 4 New York this past summer and was said to have had "Infectious enthusiasm and a true passion for journalism, and even more important was [a] genuinely good and kind person who will be sorely missed by everyone at NBC New York."

Christopher worked in the Atlanta mayor's office as a digital content manager. According to Edwards Instagram posts, she spent the summer with her children, going to Miami with her son and Italy with her daughter.

“I’ve had the best summer, first with Chris in Miami, and Erin in Italy. I could not ask for better children,” Marsha posted Wednesday.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I’ve had the best summer, first with Chis in Miami, and Erin in Italy. I could not ask for better children. ❤️🍷😎

A post shared by Marsha Edwards (@marsha.edwards.7564) on Aug 21, 2019 at 1:29am PDT

Police have not disclosed the motives behind the murder-suicide.

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Pinellas County Sheriff's Office via AP

Florida Gunman Convicted Of Manslaughter In Fatal Parking Lot Shooting

A Florida jury convicted a white gunman of killing an unarmed black father during an argument over a parking space. Jurors deliberated for more than six hours before finding Michael Drejka guilty of manslaughter in the July 2018 shooting death of Markeis McGlockton.

McGlockton, 28, was gunned down in front of his 5-year-old son in the parking lot of a Circle K gas station. The father of three was coming to his girlfriend’s defense after she was confronted by Drejka for parking in a handicap space while McGlockton ran into the store. Drejka, who alleged self-defense, claimed that he opened fire after McGlockton took “one step” towards him and shoved him. Drejka attempted to use Florida’s Stand Your Ground law to justify the fatal shooting, and saw no fault in his actions.

“I followed the law the way I thought the law was supposed to be followed. I cleared every hurdle that the law had to put in front of me,” he told a local news station last year.

Prosecutors argued that Drejka provoked the confrontation and video surveillance confirmed that McGlockton was backing away from Drejka. The state’s self-defense argument doesn’t apply if the shooter caused the altercation.

Drejka, who faces up to 30 years in prison, had no reaction to the verdict, CBS News reports. He remains held without bond and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 10.

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Pool

Baltimore Teen Sentenced To Life For Killing A Cop

A Baltimore teen hung his head and sobbed inside a courtroom Wednesday (Aug. 21) after a judge handed down a life sentence for the May 2018 death of an officer.

Dawnta Harris, 17, from West Baltimore, reportedly asked the judge for a second chance. Although he didn't speak in court, his defense attorney, Warren Brown, read the boy's six-page letter out loud.

“Show me mercy,” he begged

Harris, along with three other teens, reportedly were burglarizing homes in Perry Hall. Harris stole a Jeep Wrangler and was in the vehicle when officer Amy Caprio approached. Harris stepped on the gas and ran over the 29-year-old cop.

“I didn’t want to harm Officer Caprio at all; I just wanted to get away,” Harris wrote. “From the bottom of my heart, I thought she was going to move.”

Brown tried to convince Circuit Judge Jan Marshall Alexander to sentence the teen to 30 years for murdering Caprio, and asked he take into account his rough upbringing. However, speaking to reporters afterward he said he wasn't surprised by the ruling. “It wasn’t unexpected. The judge was under a lot of pressure.”

Caprio had been sent to investigate a suspicious Jeep when she spotted the teen. She blocked his way out with her patrol car, jumped out and ordered him to stop. As the jeep sped toward her, The Baltimore Sun reports Caprio drew her gun and yelled "Stop! Stop!"

Bodycam footage showed Dawnta stopped the jeep and opened the driver door slightly as if to surrender, only to get back inside, slam on the breaks and run over Caprio. Dawnta got rid of the jeep nearby and was found walking when he was arrested.

During a 14-hour interview with investigators, Dawnta admitted he panicked. “Once I saw the gun, I put my head down and closed my eyes," he told them. "It was like five seconds before I pushed on the gas."

Caprio died from broken ribs, and crushing injuries to her internal organs. She was found bleeding with tire marks on her legs.

Brown said he will appeal the ruling.

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