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Parents Of Devonte Hart Accused Of Child Abuse Before Fatal Car Crash

Sarah and Jennifer Hart were visited by a Child Protective Services worker days before the alleged accident. 

On the surface, Devonte Hart and his family appeared to be in a loving embrace, but underlying accounts of abuse and torture have been uncovered following the family's tragic death.

Jennifer and Sarah Hart were found dead Monday (Mar. 26) in Northern California when their car veered off a cliff and onto the Pacific Ocean shoreline. Three of their adopted children (19-year-old Markis Hart, 14-year-old Jeremiah Hart and 14-year-old Abigail Hart) were also found in the crashed vehicle. Police presumed their other three children 15-year-old Devonte Hart, 16-year-old Hannah Hart and 12-year-old Sierra Hart, also died in the incident.

In a press conference to reporters, Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allmon said they haven't suspected any foul play despite finding no "skid marks, no brake marks" on the road. “We have no reason to believe, no evidence and no reason to believe, that this was an intentional act," he said via The New York Times. 

Devonte Hart's name rings a bell to many. At the age of 12, he became a viral sensation after hugging a police officer in Portland, where a rally was held in support over the shooting of Michael Brown. Devonte was holding a "Free Hugs" sign when the officer requested one.

The photo received worldwide attention and mixed reactions with the family receiving death threats. "I was trying to show peace, that there was a different way to handle it," Devonte said at the time.

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But details of physical and emotional abuse have loomed over the family for years. KATU reports Sarah Hart pleaded guilty to a domestic assault charge during the family's time in Douglas County, Minnesota in 2011. The incident involved one of her daughters  showed up to school with bruises on her back and stomach after Sarah beat her over edge of a bathtub. She was six-years-old at the time.

"Sarah immediately took responsibility for the spanking that occurred the previous day," the criminal court complaint read. Sarah was received a 90-day suspended jail sentence and a year of probation. Child Protective Services, identified the children as "potential victims of alleged abuse or neglect."

The family, which previously lived in Oregon, moved to Woodland, Wash., where the abuse continued. Bruce and Dana DeKalb, who were neighbors of the Hart family told KATU they called CPS a week ago when Devonte snuck over to the home, begging for food. Other children also came to the home asking for food several times a day since Jen and Sarah would keep food from them as a form of punishment. One of their daughters also ran away from home last fall.

A CPS worker arrived at the home on Friday (Mar. 23), but there was no answer at the door. After the worker left, the family got in their vehicle and left. “Absolutely I think I was a lifeline. And yeah, I don't think it was my fault certainly. I just, wow, it's not how I thought it was gonna end. I thought it was gonna end in a beautiful life for them,” Dana DeKalb told reporters.

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Friends of Sarah and Jen Hart had positive accounts of the family, including the couple's treatment of the children. Zippy Lomax told Oregon Live  she'd normally see the family at spiritual and ethereal events and everything seemed normal. "They weren't plugged into the technology," she said. "They preferred to lay (around) and read books and hang out with their chickens. Jen and Sarah were the kinds of parents this world desperately needs. They loved their kids more than anything else."

The investigation into the crash will carry on with authorities searching for the bodies of Devonte, Hannah and Sierra.

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Nas’ discography of studio albums has reached double-digits since the release of Nasir in 2018 but given this span, his fans and hip-hop aficionados continue to herald the impact of his debut album Illmatic. Celebrating 25 years this year, the “Cherry Wine” rapper raised a glass in commemoration of this milestone by previously hosting a Symphony Orchestra performance and receiving accolades along the way.

However, during an interview with Haute Living, the Queens native said although he’s grateful for the love of his platinum-selling project, “it has started to take on a life of its own.” The 46-year-old continued to state his claim by noting that the rest of his discography is worthy of recognition and that this year has been a good run for Illmatic.

"Twenty-five years is a lifetime. So I did another Symphony Orchestra show for Illmatic this year; I got another plaque for it. I’m very grateful—it’s so crazy—but to celebrate one album when I’ve made over 10, all the things I’ve worked on—and I’ve been working for so long—to celebrate one album over all else is corny to me," he said. "I don’t want to celebrate another Illmatic anything. I’m done. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for appreciating that record, but it’s over.”

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Illmatic remains one of music's most vivid and poetic albums, hosting quintessential East Coast rap melodies from DJ Premier, Large Professor, Q-Tip, Pete Rock, Faith N., and L.E.S. The sole feature goes to fellow The Firm member AZ.

In an interview with Red Bull, Nas discussed the real-life situations Illmatic hosts within its tracks which aids in its truth of standing the test of time. "There’s a lot of historical value in there. Back then there was a killing of a guy named [Jose “Kiko”] Garcia in Washington Heights by the police that I mention in my lyrics. I talk about the Supreme Team, a drug gang in Queens, and their leader named Supreme, who is now locked up," he said. "I talk about Ron G who was a Harlem mixtape DJ who was really popular at the time. It was kind of the first time you’d hear street conversation by someone who knew these guys personally at the time."

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The Oscar Award-winning actress took to Twitter to congratulate Kravitz on her new job, writing “Keep shining queen and welcome to the family!” Kravitz will star opposite Twilight’s Robert Pattinson who’ll play the Dark Knight.

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Beyond excited to present the first amazingly talented artist from my new label RAEDIO, TeaMarrr (@imaliltcup)! Check out her song and video, "Kinda Love" on all streaming platforms now! (@theraedio)

A post shared by Issa Rae (@issarae) on Oct 18, 2019 at 8:06am PDT

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“Music has always been an essential part of every project I do and working with emerging talent is a personal passion,” Rae said in a statement. “Raedio allows me to continue that work within the music industry and audio entertainment space. The Atlantic team are innovators in terms of shifting and shaping culture. I’m excited to join forces with them to discover new artists.”

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Wath TeaMarrr's  “Kinda Love” music video below.

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