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Spencer Weiner

Pimp Sentenced To 32 Years For Sex Trafficked Teen's Death

Joseph Hazley maintained his innocence inside a Cook County courtroom Tuesday (June 4) alleging he was the victim of a failed system.

“I feel like no matter what I do or how hard I try, no matter how good my intentions are, everything just seems to take a turn for the worst,” Hazley said. “Like I’m standing in quicksand. The more I try, the more I sink.”

The 35-year-old was sentenced to 32 years in prison for his part in the brutal killing of 16-year-old Desiree Robinson, who prosecutors say he lured and pimped to men for money. Hazley, who also had a fulltime legal job, reportedly pimped two other girls as well.

Hazley was not charged with Desiree's death, but Tuesday's hearing focused greatly on how much responsibility he had as her pimp.

"This court holds him responsible for anything that’s foreseeable,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Parente said. “To not hold him responsible (for the death), I think would be offensive.”

Desiree's mother took the witness stand wearing the same soft pink dress she wore to her daughter's funeral. During her emotional testimony, Yvonne Ambrose said Desiree's death has been excruciating to deal with.

“I had to identify my baby’s body,” said Ambrose, her voice catching in her throat. “I had to sign her death certificate. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. … I would not rest until everyone was held accountable for their part in my baby’s murder.”

The Chicago man accused of killing Desiree, Antonio Rosales, is awaiting trial on first-degree murder and aggravated sexual assault.

Prosecutors say on Christmas Eve Hazley scheduled an appointment with Rosales in the south suburban community of Markham in 2016. He dropped the teen off and when she didn't return, he found her body beaten and her throat slashed.

The Chicago Tribune reports after finding Desiree, Hazley deleted his photos of her off his laptop and threw her clothes and other belongings in the trash.

“Joseph Hazley sold my baby. My baby! As if she was a piece of clothing!” Ambrose told U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman on Tuesday. “Our ancestors fought hard to keep us free from the same slavery that Joseph Hazley put my baby in.”

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Associated Press

Alaskan Teen Kills Friend After A Man Online Alleged He'd Pay Her $9 Million

An Alaskan teen lured her best friend to a wooded area June 2 and shot her in the back of the head at the orders of a man online who said he'd pay $9 million.

According to CNN, Denali Brehmer developed a relationship with Darin Schilmilller, 21, who went by the alias "Tyler." The Indiana resident reportedly told Brehmer he was a millionaire and would pay her if she killed her friend Cynthia Hoffman and provided video proof of the murder.

Brehmer, 18 and Schilmiller mapped out a plan to rape and murder the 19-year-old victim who also had a learning disability.

On the day in question, Brehmer enlisted the help of Kayden McIntosh, 16 and Caleb Leyland, 19 and two unidentified juveniles. Brehmer deceived Hoffman and said the two would go hiking in Thunderbird Falls. Using a car Leyland borrowed, upon arriving at the wooded location Hoffman's hands and feet were bound with duct tape as well as her mouth and head.

According to reports, McIntosh used Brehmer's gun and shot Hoffman once in the back of the head. Her body was placed in the Eklutna River and found June 4.

Phone records prove Brehmer sent videos to Schilmiller as instructed.

Brehmer, McIntosh, and Leyland are all in police custody as well as the two minors. Schilmiller will be arraigned once he's extradited to Alaska as he's currently in federal custody for child pornography charges.

Court document outline Schilmiller also instructed Brehmer to sexually assault an 8 or 9-year-old, and a 15-year-old and send videos. Brehmer told authorities she did. The video of the teen was found by law enforcement.

All six defendants face first-degree murder, first-degree conspiracy to commit murder, and two counts of second-degree murder and other charges.

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NYPD

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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Brett Carlsen

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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