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Jazmine Barnes Murder Suspects Arrested

Authorities believe Jazmine Barnes and her mother were not the intended victims. 

An arrest has been made in the fatal shooting of 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes. Suspects Eric Black Jr and Larry Woodruffe were reportedly taken into police custody Saturday (Jan. 5) without incident. Black now faces a capital murder charge.

According to court documents, the 20-year-old admitted little Jazmine's death was a mistake.

“The source said the suspects thought the complainant’s vehicle was some other person’s vehicle that they had seen earlier in the night and that they shot the car by mistake. The source said that they did not realize the vehicle that they had shot into was the complainant’s vehicle until seeing it on the news later in the day."

Black was the driver of the getaway vehicle while 24-year-old Woodruffe sat in the passenger seat.

Authorities say Black was placed in police custody after a traffic stop. and cops found marijuana in the gray Kia he was driving. Law enforcement identified Black as a suspect in Jazmine's murder after receiving a tip and evidence that corroborated that tip.

Based on the interrogation of Black, investigators believe Jazmine or her family were not the intended targets and are victims of mistaken identity.

On Dec. 30, Jazmine, her siblings, and her mother LaPorsha Washington drove on the Beltway 8 feeder road to get coffee when a gunman opened fire. Jazmine was shot in the head while Washington was shot in the arm.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner released a statement following Black's arrest commending law enforcement and warning criminals.

"I want to thank the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and all law enforcement for their diligent work to identify and arrest a suspect in Jazmine Barnes’ senseless murder. The authorities worked around the clock to find the individual who is allegedly responsible for the heinous and unspeakable act of violence against an innocent child. This should serve as a warning to all violent offenders who prey on our community: The color of your skin, how much money you make - these things don’t matter when law enforcement will find you, eventually."

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Justice For Junior: Five Convicted In Brutal Murder Of Bronx Teen

Five men were convicted in the brutal murder of Lesandro "Junior" Guzman-Feliz. A Bronx jury handed down the verdict on Friday (June 14), nearly a year to the day since the 15-year-old victim was chased down by a group of gang members, dragged out of a local bodega and viciously stabbed to death.

Martinez Estrella, Antonio Rodriguez Hernandez Santiago, Elvin Garcia, Jose Muniz and Manuel Rivera, were found guilty on all four charges, according to CBS News. The group faced first-degree murder, second-degree murder, second-degree conspiracy and second-degree gang assault.

Jurors reviewed video of Guzman-Feliz’s murder and reportedly began crying while looking at autopsy photos of the teen, described by his father as a “really good kid” who was doing well in school, and aspired to be an NYPD detective.

The five convicted murderers belonged to the Trinitarios gang, prosecutors said. Guzman-Feliz was killed after he was mistaken for a member of a rival gang. Surveillance footage from the night of the heinous murder showed Guzman-Feliz attempting to run to safety inside a Bronx bodega before being caught by the men.

Guzman-Feliz was stabbed multiple times with knives and machetes, and collapsed on his way to a nearby hospital. His death caused outrage around the globe, and launched the viral #JusticeForJunior campaign. A Go Fund Me account opened to raise money for the high schooler’s family brought in more than $340,000 in donations.

“I want to say thank you, Jesus,” the slain teen’s mother, Leandra Feliz, said after the verdict.

“I’m not going to have my son back. But those killers, those murderers, they won’t be outside killing another kid.”

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Prosecutors Drop Flint Water Charges, Plan To Start New Case

Nearly four years since Flint, Michigan declared a state of emergency over the state of its water, prosecutors have decided to drop all criminal charges brought against eight government officials who were believed to responsible for the crisis, CNN reports.

Prosecutors said on Thursday (June 13) they had concerns about the investigation and legal theories suggested by the former Office of Special Counsel (OSC) who oversaw the investigation, according to a press release issued by the Michigan Department of Attorney General.

"We cannot provide the citizens of Flint the investigation they rightly deserve by continuing to build on a flawed foundation," Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy, said. Prosecutors also noted that "the voluntary dismissal is not a determination of any defendant's criminal responsibility."

The Flint community reportedly feels blindsided by the decision, but the Mayor of Flint, Karen Weaver said the dismissal gives her "hope." "I am happy to see that this case is being handled with the seriousness and dogged determination that it should have been handled with from the beginning," Weaver told CNN.

Weaver also claimed the prosecution's mishandling of the case was  "an entire administration's clear lack of respect for human life and common decency, another attempt to cover up what should have never happened to begin with."

The prosecution team promises to open a new probe into the Flint Water Crisis at a later date.

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Kim Kardashian And Lyft Launch Initiative For Ex-Prisoners

Kim Kardashian returned to the White House on Thursday (June 13) to announce a new partnership with Lyft ride-share service that will benefit former prisoners, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The initiative will reportedly provide ex-prisoners with gift cards that can be used to help them find work after prison. "Everyone wants the community to be safe, and the more opportunity we have and that they have and the support that we help give them, the safer everyone will be," Kardashian said.

Kardashian's latest announcement is the latest in her ongoing criminal justice reform efforts. In June 2018, Kardashian helped get Alice Marie Johnson – a woman serving a life sentence for her involvement in drug trafficking – clemency. Since then, early reports revealed the reality star, who is currently studying to be a lawyer, has helped commute or vacate the sentences of dozens of prisoners.

"Since the passage of the First Step Act in December, I’ve been speaking with people coming home from prison and learning about the challenges they are facing," she tweeted. "While I have been able to offer support to some of the individuals I have met, the obstacles to success are an everyday struggle for thousands and more needs to be done. Today, I’m honored to be a part of the announcement that the administration and the private sector are stepping up to create opportunities for these men and women to succeed once home."

 

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Kim Kardashian West spoke at a White House event on felons re-entering the workforce: "These people want to work. They want the best outcome." She thanked Pres. Trump for "standing behind this issue." https://abcn.ws/2Ic1e8C

A post shared by ABC News (@abcnews) on Jun 13, 2019 at 3:59pm PDT

Since the passage of the First Step Act in December, I’ve been speaking with people coming home from prison and learning about the challenges they are facing.

— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 13, 2019

While I have been able to offer support to some of the individuals I have met, the obstacles to success are an everyday struggle for thousands and more needs to be done.

— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 13, 2019

Today, I’m honored to be a part of the announcement that the administration and the private sector are stepping up to create opportunities for these men and women to succeed once home.

— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) June 13, 2019

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