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Michigan's Chief Medical Executive Faces Involuntary Manslaughter In Flint Water Crisis

Dr. Eden Wells is being hit with two new charges.

Michigan’s top medical executive is facing two new criminal charges stemming from an outbreak of Legionnaires disease tied to the Flint water crisis. Prosecutor Todd Flood announced a plan to charge Dr. Eden Wells with involuntary manslaughter and misconduct during a court hearing Monday (Oct. 9).

Flood brought the charges against Wells after new information came out in the trial of Flint's Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon, in regards to the outbreak that was linked to more than 80 cases of the Legionnaires’ disease, and a dozen deaths, Reuters reports.

Lyon faces the same charges as Wells, who is also accused of lying to police about the outbreak.

“I really can’t get into the details of it but I think we’d be derelict if we didn’t charge her,” Flood told reporters at a hearing Monday morning. “Based on a new review of other documents and testimony that came out last week, we believe that discovery put us in this place.”

A hearing in the case is scheduled for Nov. 6.

Wells is one of a handful of current and former state officials to face charges in regards to the water crisis. She faces up to 15 years on the manslaughter charge, and two years for obstruction.

Flint switched its water source from Lake Huron to the Flint River in 2014, the result of which caused devastating health issues. While city officials initially assured residents that the water sourced from the river was “safe,” a lead advisory was finally released the following year.

The water crisis is also found to have had a “horrifyingly large” effect on birth rates , according to a study released in August by economists Daniel Grossman of West Virginia University and David Slusky of Kansas University.

The study, which has yet to receive a peer review and cannot be “well established” without a longer investigation, compares the number of live births and fetal deaths in Michigan from 2008 to 2015 to “estimate the effect of a change in the water supply in Flint on fertility and health.”

The results found a 12 percent decrease in the general fertility rates per 1,000 women ages 15-49. Additionally, fetal deaths rates increased by 58 percent after the water source was switched and “overall health at birth decreased,” compared to other cities in Michigan.

Flint has been without clean drinking water for nearly three years.

 

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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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Courtesy of Trinity County Sheriff's Office

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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