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Erik S. Lesser

Westboro Baptist Church To Protest Spelman, Morehouse And Clark-Atlanta University Graduations

The Westboro Baptist Church, which the Southern Poverty Law Center refers to as “arguably the most obnoxious and rabid hate group in America” has taken aim at several historical black colleges or universities.

According to reports, the group plans to protest Spelman, Morehouse, and Clark-Atlanta University's forthcoming graduation ceremonies. In a press release earlier this month, the Kansas-based group said Spelman College’s "Women's Research and Resource Center of Spelman" is actually "more evidence does not seem necessary to demonstrate that this college is being grandly paid to produce perverts who aggressively strive to push others toward proud sin and down the path to hell. Repent!”

The group then took aim at Morehouse college over the fact it announced it would admit transgender men. “Morehouse, founded by Baptists, announced in April, 2019, that for 135 years only male students could enroll, but starting in 2020, females, who pretend that they are males, will be welcome. Check the neck! God’s moral law is immutable!” the group wrote.

In the group's attack against Clark-Atlanta University, the group aimed at Reverend Dr. Ken Walden, the President-Dean of Gammon Theological Seminary who is scheduled to deliver a prayer during the upcoming graduation ceremony.

“No true or spiritually helpful guidance will be offered by this man, whose lengthy resume is given in demonstration that he is worldly, men-pleaser who has made a career of misconstruing, wresting and lying about Jesus Christ and His Word. Flee from whorish, lying pastors!” the group added.

The director of public safety at Spelman released a statement, which was obtained by The Grio, assured students that extra security would be put in place. “We will have additional staff on hand to ensure that all events proceed safely and with minimal disruption if any at all,” the email read.

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Scott Olson

Remains Found In Alabama Landfill Believed To Be Missing Toddler

The search for missing toddler Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney has come to a tragic end. The 3-year-old girl’s remains were found in Alabama on Tuesday (Oct. 22) evening, more than a week after she was reported missing.

The Birmingham Police Department, along with the FBI, located her remains in a landfill, BPD Chief Patrick Smith confirmed in a press conference. “Our investigators have worked tirelessly 24 hours a day to look at this young child and bring her back, and to hold those accountable who are involved in her disappearance, her kidnapping, and ultimately, her demise,” said Smith.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall shared footage of the press conference on Twitter.

Tonight, I join all of Alabama in feeling deep sadness over the passing of little Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney, and in praying for her family in this terrible time of loss. The BPD has worked this case tirelessly—and continues to do so. Those responsible will be brought to justice. pic.twitter.com/p58WWxCwQQ

— AG Steve Marshall (@AGSteveMarshall) October 23, 2019

Birmingham Mayor Randal Woodfin released a statement offering his “heartfelt condolences” to the child’s family, and thanking law enforcement. “Our prayers remain with Kamille’s family and all who have been touched by this nightmare.”

News of the gruesome discovery sparked the hashtag, #RipCupcake across social media. Kamille's story made national headlines after she went missing during a birthday party on Oct. 12. Two suspects, Derrick Brown and Patrick Stallworth, are in custody on suspicion of murder.

The child's body was reportedly found near a home where Brown and Stallworth were arrested. The motive is unclear, and the men appear to have no connection to Kamille’s family.

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Tom Fox

Amber Guyger Takes Step To Appeal Murder Conviction: Report

Amber Guyger is taking preliminary steps to appeal her conviction in the murder of Botham Jean.

An attorney for the former Dallas police officer filed an intent to appeal her first-degree murder conviction and 10-year prison sentence, nearly two weeks after the verdict was handed down. Though the filing was publicized on Tuesday (Oct. 22), Guyger’s lawyer, Michael Mowla, reportedly filed on Oct. 16.

It’s unclear what Guyger will use as grounds for a potential appeal.

Earlier in the month, a Texas jury convicted Guyger of first-degree murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Guyger shot and killed Jean, her 26-year-old neighbor, in his home last year. Guyger maintained that she walked into Jean’s apartment thinking it was her unit, and subsequently killed the unarmed accountant out of fear that he was an introducer.

Her reported notice of appeal comes amid legal strife involving Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot, and trial Judge Tammy Kemp. Creuzot, who is facing contempt charges for doing an interview that aired the night before Guyger's trial began, requested that Kemp be removed from  his case. Meanwhile, Kemp has come under fire after she hugged Guyger in court, and handed her a Bible. Kemp defended her actions, noting that Guyger asked for a hug after the sentencing phase was over. Kemp wasn’t alone in embracing Guyger, Jean’s brother hugged her as well.

A hearing in the contempt case is scheduled for Oct. 31.

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Getty Images

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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