BRADENTON, Florida — Man’s best friend deserves better than this.
CHESTER, Virginia — A Virginia youth pastor has been charged with gunning down his family during a domestic dispute over Thanksgiving dinner, cops said.
Christopher Gattis, 58, waited at the family home as police raced to the scene where they discovered the bodies of the pastor’s wife, step-daughter and her boyfriend who all lived in the house, the Chesterfield Police said.
“This appears to be domestic related,” the department said in a statement.
When cops arrived at 11:30 p.m. Thursday, they found the body of Andrew Buthorn, 36, in the front yard. His girlfriend, Candice Kunze, 30, and her mother, Jeanett Gattis, 58, were found inside.
The nature of the argument that sparked the bloodshed was not immediately clear.
Christopher Gattis was charged with three counts of first-degree murder
He serves as the youth pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Chester, the church said.
“Members of Grace Lutheran Church are deeply saddened by the loss of life last night as a result of three individuals being shot in Chester, and this tragedy included members of Grace Lutheran Church,” the church said in a statement.
Fellow parishioners and neighbors said there was no sign of domestic strife and described Gattis as a devout churchgoer who stopped in the church earlier in the day for a Thanksgiving service.
MT. ORAB, Ohio — A 400-pound Ohio man has been charged in the death of his autistic step-grandson after pinning the boy down when he started acting up, cops said.
Donald Martin Jr., 58, was charged with reckless homicide in the death of 11-year-old Dylan Martin Davis on the family farm in rural Ohio last Friday, the Brown County Sheriff’s office said.
“It appears that the 11-year-old was deceased as a result of positional asphyxiation or compression,” Sheriff Gordon Ellis told WLWT-TV. “There was some type of altercation between the 11-year-old and his grandmother and the step-grandfather stepped in and restrained the juvenile.”
Prosecutors said the boy was held down for several minutes, after which he became unresponsive.
Police said the boy had had some kind of temper tantrum before the incident, and his father told the station his son had grown more prone to outbursts.
“He was getting older. Sometimes his anger was getting stronger and sometimes he had to be physically restrained,” Sam Davis said.
Davis said his son and Martin had always gotten along, so he was shocked by what had happened.
“I feel sad. I feel angry. I feel confused. I wish it never would have happened,” he said.
Martin was released on $100,000 bond.
ARLINGTON, Texas — A teenage cheerleader was killed after a driver distracted by having to give a court-ordered breathalyzer test while on the road, slammed into her car, police said.
The unidentified 31-year-old driver was not drunk at the time of the accident and has not been charged, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Alexis Butler, 18, died about a week after the crash which occurred as she was backing out of her driveway in Arlington and was struck by a Chevy Silverado, police said.
The driver of the pickup told cops he had briefly taken his eyes off the road to perform the ignition interlock test, which involved him blowing into a device that can disable the vehicle if not activated.
The man had previously had a drunken driving arrest and had the the device installed in his car as part of his agreement with the court.
While interlock devices are typically known to require a driver to blow into them to test their blood alcohol level before driving, they periodically will require a “retest” while the driver is on the road to prove they haven’t started drinking after they turned the car on or that they hadn’t gotten someone else to perform the original test.
VIRGINIA BEACH, Virginia — It was no small crime.
A diminutive reality show star is facing big time behind bars after allegedly killing a Coast Guard veteran in drunken crash in Virginia.
State police say Melissa Hancock, 25, who has appeared on Lifetime’s “Little Women: Atlanta,” was driving the wrong way on I-264 on Nov. 5, when she slammed her Cadillac head-on into a car being driven by Daniel Dill.
Dill, 29, was on his way to pick up his wife and friends from a night out celebrating her birthday. A teetotaler, Dill had offered to serve as the designated driver for the group so they could all enjoy themselves, the Virginian Pilot reported.
He was rushed to a hospital with severe injuries and later died.
“He was clean cut, didn’t smoke or drink. He wasn’t ever in trouble. He was just laid-back, always happy and always looking to make everybody else happy,’ his father Christopher Dill told NJ.com.
Hancock told cops she had consumed two-to-four mixed drinks while out at a nightclub with friends. Standing 4-feet-tall and weighing 77 pounds, Hancock had a blood alcohol content level of 0.112, above the legal limit of 0.08.
She was initially charged with DUI/maiming and driving the wrong way.
While not a marquee star of the reality show, which is a spin-off of “Little Women: LA,” Hancock has appeared in numerous episodes.
FAIRFAX, Virginia — A 12-year-old boy who leapt off a highway overpass in a suicide attempt, inadvertently killed a 22-year motorist passing underneath but somehow managed to survive the fall, cops said.
The car slammed into the guardrail after the fall, but cops Marisa Harris, a graduate student at Marymount University in Arlington, studying clinical counseling, was killed by the boy’s falling body, the Virginia State Police said.
The boy, who was not publicly identified, took the tumble off the Cedar Lane overpass late Saturday afternoon and landed directly on top of Harris’ Ford Escape. A 23-year-old passenger tried to seize the wheel but the vehicle anyway.
Harris was rushed to an area hospital but was declared dead on arrival. The teen who jumped was hospitalized with life threatening injuries.
Harris’ family said she had recently graduated summa cum laude from Towson University, and had been working towards providing mental health counseling to troubled young kids, much like the one who took her life.
ANDOVER, Massachusetts — The opioid epidemic has really gotten out of control.
Vets in Massachusetts were forced to give a puppy an overdose drug after the curious pooch picked up and chewed a cigarette box containing the powerful narcotic Fetanyl and nearly died.
Owner Peter Thibault told he was walking his yellow lab Zoey in Andover Friday when she grabbed the box off the ground and began chewing.
“She was a normal dog just like this, within seconds she keeled over and fell right on her side,” Thibault told WBZ-TV.
At first, he took the dog home, but when she grew even more unresponsive, he rushed her to the Bulger Veterinary Hospital.
There, doctors immediately knew what they were looking at.
“Just the combination of an otherwise healthy dog who had suddenly collapsed eating something on the street, those were the keys,” said medical director Krista Vernaleken.
So they quickly administered a shot of Nalaxone, which helps reverse the effects of opioids in humans and has saved countless lives.
“She asked me to leave the room and within five minutes I was told to come back in. The dog was upright, alert, responsive, it was unbelievable,” Thibault said.
Zoey received several more shots over the next few hours, but was home within 12 hours, he said.
Sadly, the hospital said this marked the third time they had to treat an animal for an opioid overdose this year.
CHANDLER, Oklahoma — A 13-year-old boy was taken into police custody after fatally shooting a 10-year-old boy with a crossbow and injuring his kid brother, police said.
Cops say the three boys were playing in a tree house behind a home in Chandler when they began arguing and the oldest of them shot a single, broad head arrow.
“There was a disagreement amongst the three prior to the shooting,” Lincoln County Sheriff Charlie Dougherty said, according to KOKH-TV.
The arrow passed through Austin Almanza and struck his 8-year-old brother, Ayden, on the arm. Austin was declared dead at the scene and Ayden was taken to a local hospital and later released.
The suspect, whose name was not released because he is a juvenile, was held in a juvenile detention center and the sheriff expects formal charges to be filed soon.
“On an incident like this, I think you have to take the word accident plumb out,” he said. “Austin is not dead because of an accident. He’s dead because of an action that took place. So until something steers us in the other direction, we’re going to work it as a homicide.”
Relatives said the 13-year-old had just been given the crossbow as a gift by his parents.
SALT LAKE CITY — A real class act.
A Utah woman has turned herself into police after surveillance video showing her pickpocketing a man having a seizure at a 7-11 was broadcast on the local news.
Alexandra Dewsnup, 28, was seen bending over the prone body of Dustin Malone as he suffered from an epileptic seizure on Oct. 4, and lifting his wallet from his pocket. She then took out a credit card and walked out without calling for help.
The card was then used at a nearby business a short time later, cops said.
Dewsnup told cops she was high on Xanax at the time of the robbery, but she took full responsibility for the theft, reported KSTU-TV.
Dewsnup was charged with felony theft and unlawful possession of a credit card.
EUFAULA, Oklahoma — A woman who was taken hostage by a bank robber last year and was shot nine times by cops trying to stop him, has filed a lawsuit against the bank and the police saying they are responsible for the “horrific injuries she suffered that day.
Julie Huff, 57, was a customer in the Bank of Eufaula on Jan. 21, 2016, when Cedric Norris, a career criminal with a history of mental illness stormed in. Before he left, he fatally shot the bank president, Randall Peterson, wounded a teller and took Huff hostage, dragging her to his SUV to make his getaway.
Police gave chase and eventually stopped the vehicle, after which Norris jumped out and, using Huff as a human shield, opened fire on cops. They fired back — some officers using AR-15s — killing Norris and striking Huff nine times. The suit states that all of the shots that hit Huff came from weapons fired by police.
“Ms. Huff was shot from her head down to her legs. She also sustained multiple gunshot wounds in her torso,” the suits says, according to the Muskogee Phoenix.
At the time, officers said they didn’t know that Huff was a hostage.
A registered nurse and a grandmother, Huff suffered severe injuries, requiring numerous surgeries. The suit said some of her injuries are permanent and that she has been left disfigured. It said she will have significant medical expenses for the rest of her life.
The suit, which seeks a minimum $75,000 in damages, contends the bank had multiple points of entry and lacked a security guard which made it particularly vulnerable to a violent robbery.