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Man Who Killed Nia Wilson Thrown Out Of Court After Outburst During Murder Trial

Jurors were shown gruesome footage of the teen being stabbed to death. 

The trail for John Lee Cowell, the man who brutally murdered 18-year-old Bay Area teenager Nia Wilson, began in Oakland earlier this week with footage of her final moments. Cowell was thrown out of court at one point during the trial.

On Thursday (Feb. 6), a former Bay Area Rapid Transit Officer Andres Rocha testified about trying to save Wilson’s life after she was stabbed on a train platform at Oakland’s MacArthur BART station.

“I attempted to keep her heart beating,” Rocha recalled according to Fox affiliate KTVU. Rocha was outside the BART station assisting in another medical issues when commuters came running out of the station screaming that someone had a knife. Cowell was one of the people who ran past Rocha while pointing him in the direction of the train platform.

Prosecutors aim to prove that the fatal stabbing was premeditated, as Cowell not only stalked Wilson as she road the train, but attempted to throw authorities off by blending in with the crowd of BART commuters in the aftermath of the brutal murder, in addition to changing his clothes and getting rid of the murder weapon.

“Evil exists in this world,” Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Butch Ford said during opening statements on Wednesday (Feb. 5). “That evil causes terrible things to happen. The evil, in this case, has a name. That name is John Lee Cowell.”

Video from the gruesome murder reportedly showed Cowell following the teenager from one BART station to another before pulling out a knife and viciously stabbing her and her sister, Letifah Wilson, in the back of the neck on a BART train platform. Wilson’s sister was critically injured, but is expected to testify for the prosecution.

Cowell, who pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder, was removed from the courtroom after having an outburst. He is charged with a special circumstance that, if convicted, will keep him in prison for life without parole. Wilson’s mother believes that Cowell intentionally created a courtroom distraction so he wouldn’t have to watch the gruesome video. Jurors were told not to pay attention to Cowell’s outburst.

Cowell’s lawyer claims that her client battles schizophrenia and that his mental illness triggered the fatal attack. “This is what you need to understand,” Christina Moore told jurors. “This is an incredibly difficult case to be fair in.”

Last year, a judge ruled that Cowell was mentally competent to stand trial.

See more on the trail in the video below.

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Michelle Obama Interviews Barack Obama For First Episode Of New Podcast

Michelle Obama kicked off her podcast this week with a very special guest. The former first lady welcomed her husband, Barack Obama, for a lengthy discussion about their childhood, as it relates to race and class, experiences that shaped their “notion of community,” and more.

Barack tweeted a photo from the podcast on Thursday (July 29) with the caption,. “Michelle and I have spent a lot of time together these past few months. We’ve had a lot of good talks — and this one’s up there with the best.”

Michelle and I have spent a lot of time together these past few months. We’ve had a lot of good talks—and this one’s up there with the best. Take a listen to the very first episode of Michelle’s podcast:

— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 29, 2020

The podcast aims to give listeners deeper insight into Mrs. Obama's life. “I spent a lot of time thinking, talking with friends and family,” she explained of her life after the White House. “Really just being, if you know what I mean. I reflected back on my time in the White House of course, but I went even deeper. I looked back at the whole arc of my life.

“In this first season, you’ll be hearing me talk with some of the people I’m closest with — my mom…my brothers…friends..colleagues. And I wanted to start at the most basic level. In these episodes, we’ll be discussing the relationships that make us who we are. Sometimes that might be as personal as our relationship with ourselves or how we navigate our health and our bodies at various points in our lives,” said Mrs. Obama. “In other episodes we’ll be talking about what the challenges and the joys of being a parent or a spouse…the growth we gain from leaning on colleagues and mentors…the friends that help us sort through the toughest times.”

Click here to listen to the first episode of The Michelle Obama Podcast.

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YG attends the 2019 BET Awards at Microsoft Theater on June 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
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YG Recalls Police Pulling Guns On His Children During Home Raid

YG has had his share of run-ins with police, but one incident was particularly harrowing for the Compton native. In an interview with The Morning Hustle, YG opened up about his home being raided and police pulling guns on his young daughters.

The incident occurred in January, a day after the  30-year-old rapper was briefly arrested for suspicion of robbery.  “They came through like four in the morning,” he recalled. “We asleep, the helicopter came around and all that..they bang the door in trying to get in the door, so I go downstairs, I open the door…boom! They drew [guns] on me. That’s normal, but my kids at the time [were] 4 years old and 6 [months old]. They were upstairs in the room with their mama.”

Cops went upstairs where his children were in the room with their mother. “They go up in the room and they got the big AK’s all up in my little kids’ faces [yelling] ‘Don’t move! I’m like ‘bro, what the f*ck is ya’ll doing? Ya’ll got me f*cked up! They doing this to my little kids…and these are little girls, you know what I’m saying?

“I’ve been through a lot of other stuff with the police but I’m from the streets though so it’s like I got a target on my back from that and I know that,” he continued. “When you from a certain area the police gon’ f*ck with you.”

YG added that he’s never been beaten by police, but at least two of his friends have been killed by cops. “It’s a lot of stuff that be going on with the police that don’t make the news, he said. “That activity [being targeted by police] became normal to us. [We’ve] dealt with that for a long time. It’s sad to say but when you’re Black, you feel like that’s what comes with being Black.”

The incident was the second time that police raided his home in the last year. In July 2019, authorities raided the residence in connection with a shooting investigation. YG was not involved in the investigation and was not home at the time.

Watch his full interview below.

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Naya Rivera Laid To Rest During Private Ceremony In Los Angeles

Glee star Naya Rivera was laid to rest during a private ceremony held at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles last week, according to a death certificate obtained by PEOPLE on Thursday (July 30).

Rivera’s funeral date was July 24. Her cause of death is listed as an accidental drowning, and her date of death is July 13 -- five days after she went missing at Lake Piru in Ventura County, Calif.

The 33-year-old actress took her 4-year-old son, Josey, out for an afternoon on the lake on July 8. Mother and son were in the water when things went awry and Rivera lifted him back onto the boat.

Rivera drowned within minutes of being submerged in the lake, her death certificate states. Josey was found safely on the boat and was able to tell authorities what happened to his mother.

Days later, Rivera’s family broke their silence to thank those who recovered her body.

“We extend endless gratitude and ovation to the heroine who found her. Thank you to her fiends, colleagues, and fans for your continued support,” the family said. “Heaven gained our sassy angel. We kindly request that our privacy be respected during this very difficult time.”

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