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  • Attempted murder charge in Craigslist fetal abduction

    Published On: Mar 27 2015 03:58:50 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 27 2015 05:23:55 PM CDT
    Pregnant woman colorado


    (CNN) -

    Dynel Lane, a former nurse's aide accused of stabbing a pregnant Colorado woman, was charged Friday with criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder, unlawful termination of pregnancy, and other crimes for allegedly cutting a fetus from the womb.

    Boulder County District Attorney Stanley L. Garnett was unable to file a murder charge under state law, and he highlighted how the coroner found that the fetus didn't show any signs of life outside the womb, Garnett said.

    The victim, Michelle Wilkins, 26, who was seven months' pregnant, survived this month's attack, which occurred when she went to a Longmont home to buy baby clothes advertised for sale on Craigslist.

    "Now, I understand that many in the community -- and heaven knows I've heard from a lot of them -- would like me to file homicide charges," Garnett told reporters.

    "However, that is not possible under Colorado law without proof of live birth. A prosecutor cannot file murder charges when a baby who is killed has not lived outside the body of the mother. For similar reasons, I cannot bring charges of child abuse resulting in death," the district attorney said.

    The fetus' lungs never inflated, Garnett said. The fetus' exact cause of death, however, isn't immediately known and is expected to be revealed when the final autopsy report is released in six to eight weeks, he said.

    Wilkins and her partner, identified only as Dan, named the female fetus Aurora, the prosecutor said.

    Lane, 34, appeared briefly in a holding room during an initial court appearance Friday, but she didn't enter the courtroom. Her attorneys waived a formal reading of charges at the hearing, which occurred before the prosecutor's press conference.

    "She could get a long sentence and very well could die in prison," the district attorney said about Lane, adding he couldn't immediately calculate the maximum number of years she faces if convicted of all counts.

    Lane was also charged with two counts of crime of violence, two counts of first-degree assault, and two counts of second-degree assault, Garnett said.

    Lane's next court date, a preliminary hearing, is May 5. She is being held on a $2 million bond.

    Earlier Friday, the Boulder County Coroner's Office said the fetus wasn't alive on its own after it was cut from Wilkins' womb.

    The female fetus didn't exhibit "any signs of life outside of the womb, therefore the circumstance is not being considered a live birth," Coroner Emma R. Hall said in a statement.

    Friday's finding came a day after prosecutors indicated that Lane wouldn't face a murder charge in the March 18 assault.

    Wilkins was released from the hospital on Thursday, relatives said.

    The coroner's office performed an autopsy on the fetus and said Wilkins was 34 weeks pregnant.

    "An autopsy has been completed," Hall said. "At this time neither the autopsy or the investigation have provided any evidence that the baby exhibited any signs of life outside of the womb, therefore the circumstance is not being considered a live birth. No evidence of trauma or injuries were found on the body.

    "Final autopsy results will be released once all testing and further studies are complete," Hall said.

    The coroner's finding apparently contradicts earlier claims made in police reports that the fetus "gasped" and that emergency room personnel described the fetus as viable.

    David Ridley, the 35-year-old husband of Dynel Lane, told police he found his wife "covered in blood" in the family home and later found "a small baby lying in the bathtub," a Longmont police report said.

    "He rubbed the baby slightly then rolled it over to ... see it take a gasping breath," the report said.

    Ridley took the baby and his wife to the emergency room of Longmont United Hospital, and the hospital told police the baby "would have been viable," the police report said.

    But on Friday, District Attorney Garnett said that Ridley altered his earlier statement to police.

    Without referring to Ridley by name, Garnett cited how media accounts took note of the police report and how a "witness observed Aurora taking a gasping breath."

    "However, upon a more thorough examination of this witness by the Longmont Police Department, the witness clarified that Aurora was still and her mouth was open, but she was not breathing, which is consistent with medical evidence from the autopsy," Garnett told reporters.

  • Breckenridge American: Skeletal remains 'very old,' include adult & juvenile

    Published On: Mar 27 2015 12:58:51 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 27 2015 04:26:08 PM CDT
    Hubbard Lake

    Courtesy of the Breckenridge American:

    By Rob Durham, Editor

    Relic skeletal remains of an adult and a juvenile were found at a location on Hubbard Creek Lake Wednesday afternoon.

    Stephens County Sheriff’s Department personnel responded to a call at 2:23 p.m. Wednesday when a citizen reported finding pieces of a human skeleton in an area about a half-mile north of the Mile Long Bridge.

    Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jim Pence said pieces of a human jaw bone, parts of a skull and other limbs were found after a search was conducted.

    “The pieces found appeared to be very old and had some weathering so the process of determining the identity will take some time,” Pence said.

    The remains were sent to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s office in Fort Worth, where the staff anthropologist conducted a preliminary investigation into determining the identity of the skeleton pieces.

    Sheriff’s Office investigator Jeremy Blackman said the incomplete skeletons found at the lake showed one juvenile over the age of six and one adult. It was not known if either was male or female.

    Also found was a round rock-type tool that was possibly used to ground corn back in ancient days.

    “It wasn’t a rock that was native to this area,” he said. “It was perfectly round and was located near one of the skeletons.”

    The investigation will continue and could take at least a month.

    Hubbard Creek Lake was started in May 1961 and was completed in December 1962. The lake is currently less than 13 percent of its capacity and was at an elevation of 1,152.68, more than 30 feet below its capacity. 

    Chris Wingert, general manager of the West Central Texas Municipal Water District, said despite the remains being found, citizens will need to be aware of the possible violations of being in the lake area.

    “Any land in the reservoir basin is considered property of the West Central Texas Municipal Water District,” Wingert said. “Anyone walking around or on the shoreline below the elevation of 1,183 feet is considered trespassing.

    “Anyone who is trespassing on water district property will be prosecuted. If you are on the surface of the lake in a boat, kayak or some type of legal vessel, it will OK.”

    Wingert said the WCTMWD has been encountering trouble with vandalism in the area since the lake levels have been dropping.

    “We’ve had trouble with people wandering in areas that have been exposed since the lake levels have dropped,” he said. “We will continue to keep an eye out on people who are in violation of trespassing on WCMWD property.”

    Wingert also said he wants to remind people of possible dangers of being on the waters of Lake Hubbard.

    “There have been a lot of items exposed since the lake levels have dropped,” he said. “We want citizens to be aware of such things, like sand bars or other hazards.”

    (KTXS wants to thank the Breckenridge American for working with us to provide this story to our viewers in Breckenridge and throughout the Big Country)

  • Abilene man, 22, arrested for string of convenience store robberies

    Published On: Mar 27 2015 09:09:19 AM CDT   Updated On: Mar 27 2015 04:27:32 PM CDT
    Byronn Cleophus Webster

    Byronn Cleophus Webster

    ABILENE, Texas -

    Police have arrested a 22-year-old Abilene man in connection with a trio of early morning robberies that happened last Friday at Abilene convenience stores – all within 17 minutes.

    Byronn Cleophus Webster remained in Taylor County Jail on Friday afternoon after being charged. Webster was arrested on two warrants - the first for aggravated robbery and the second for marijuana possession.

    Webster was taken into custody after the Abilene SWAT team executed a search and arrest warrant before sunrise Friday at a trailer house on Bald Eagle Street.

    Witnesses said they heard two loud explosions – one at 1:30 a.m. and the other about 6 a.m. Friday – before the arrest was made.

    KTXS had a crew on the scene and captured a yet-to-identified male being taken into custody.

    Detectives were spotted carrying out evidence from the property.

    The robberies occurred at:

    *- A north side convenience store in the 2100 block of West Stamford Street at 1:08 a.m. last Friday.

    *- A north side convenience store in the 1000 block of Mockingbird Lane at 1:14 a.m. last Friday.

    *- A south side convenience store in the 700 block of Arnold Boulevard at 1:25 a.m. last Friday.

    KTXS will provide more details as they become available.

  • Some parents upset Abilene ISD told bus driver to take down wreath

    Published On: Mar 27 2015 11:12:55 AM CDT   Updated On: Mar 27 2015 08:19:54 PM CDT
    Abilene, TEXAS -

    Some Abilene parents are rallying behind their kids' bus driver.

    They're speaking up after AISD made Penny Downing take down an Easter wreath from the hood of her school bus.

    Besides the wreath, bunny decals hang on the bus's windows, and they sing Easter songs on their way to and from school.

    KTXS first reported on Downing's Easter bus Tuesday.

    The school district's transportation director, Randy Gover, said after the story aired, someone complained about the legality and safety of having decorations on a school bus.

    Gover agreed, saying the wreath might distract drivers.

    "Although the decorations were well-intentioned, the potential danger, no matter how remote, makes this a risk that the AISD is unwilling to accept," said Gover.

    "I think it's just kind of ridiculous," said Amy Garcia, whose five year old daughter rides Downing's bus. "Well, there's other types of distractions that happen, too, especially when we have football games and basketball games and streamers and writing on the windows. All that would be considered a distraction, too."

    The story became a hot topic on KTXS' Facebook page, with more than 200 comments.

    "There's enough issues going on at the school district than to focus on a bus," Garcia said.

    Phil Ashby, a spokesperson for AISD, said Downing will be allowed to keep up the decorations inside the bus.

  • Ex-Abilene ISD chief's peer supportive even after arrest

    Published On: Mar 20 2015 07:36:25 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 20 2015 09:01:59 PM CDT
    ABILENE, Texas -

    Heath Burns' Thursday arrest resulted in him withdrawing from the Blooming Grove ISD superintendent selection.

    Burns, former superintendent of Abilene ISD who resigned in February, turned himself in to authorities on a third-degree felony possession of a controlled substance by fraud charge.

    Several Abilene community members and school employees submitted recommendation letters to Blooming Grove ISD.

    Since the arrest, did anyone change their opinion on the former superintendent?

    One Abilene ISD school board member was active on the board when Burns was hired.

    Robert Laird, secretary of Abilene ISD's Board of Trustees, said he doesn't believe the board should have done anything differently in hiring Burns because, at the time, everything checked out.

    "When we looked at him, he was very, very qualified and an outstanding candidate," Laird said. "He did a very good job for us for the time he was here as far as what we hired him for."

    Laird also said his opinion of Burns has not changed. He said he realizes people have different struggles.

    "Knowing a lot of people in healthcare and the problems that can occur, this doesn't really change my opinion of him. I just felt very sad that this is an ongoing problem," Laird said.

    What about that $407,500 settlement that Burns received as part of his resignation agreement? Will the school try to get that money back in light of what's happened?

    "I think contractually we would have a difficult time getting it back," Laird said. "We can sue. We can look at suing, but basically what you'd be doing is looking at taking money from one person and giving it to lawyers."

    Laird said they want to learn from the past and be careful when searching for their next superintendent.

    The board is currently looking at different ways to check into the backgrouns of prospective superintendents.

  • Thompson throws no-hitter as Hawley tops Albany

    Published On: Mar 27 2015 06:57:01 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 27 2015 09:01:27 PM CDT
  • Man says ISIS tattoo cost him job

    Published On: Mar 20 2015 08:07:15 PM CDT

    A man in Mastic, New York, says his tattoo of his ex-girlfriend's name cost him his job at Home Depot.

  • TxDOT spreads message of safety for Work Zone Awareness Week

    Published On: Mar 24 2015 08:51:24 AM CDT   Updated On: Mar 24 2015 08:53:46 AM CDT
  • NYC residents pick up the pieces after building blast

    Published On: Mar 27 2015 02:22:14 AM CDT

    Roommates Lucie Bauermeister and Anna Ramotoska escaped the explosion at 125 2nd Ave. in New York City with their purses and their pet dog. Now they’re trying to put their lives back together.

  • Big second half propels Wylie over Burkburnett in Bi-District round

    Published On: Mar 27 2015 10:59:11 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 27 2015 11:02:58 PM CDT