NAPLES, Fla. – A Southwest Florida man accused of killing his wife and five children is rejecting his legal name and refusing to shower.
The Naples Daily News reports that a late June incident report indicates the smell coming from Mesac Damas' cell has gotten so bad it's making other inmates sick.
Damas refused deputies' orders and was sprayed with pepper spray after hiding under his bunk. He also says his name is no longer Damas, but COG, meaning Child of God.
Jail logs show Damas, who turned 38 on Wednesday, has refused to shower since June 4. He returned to the Naples Jail May 29 after 56 days at a state mental hospital.
He's been jailed since the 2009 killings. A judge will hear from doctors about his competency in August.
Jul 03 2014
A Las Vegas plastic surgeon plans to perform facial reconstruction surgery on three-year-old Victoria Wilcher—the child whose family claims they were asked to leave a restaurant because injuries she suffered in a pit bull attack repulsed customers.
Claims that the story was all a hoax that brought in big donations from strangers have not dissuaded Dr. Frank Stile from pledging his services to Victoria, who lost an eye in the attack, which occurred in April while she was visiting her grandparents.
It didn’t matter what people’s motivations may have been,” Stile told Foxnews.com. “I’m not in any place to make judgments-- it doesn’t change her injuries or her future she’d have without help.”
Wilcher’s grandmother claims employees of a Mississippi KFC restaurant asked their family to leave last month because patrons complained. Following the incident, KFC pledged to give the Wilcher family $30,000 towards Victoria’s medical bills and more than $135,000 in donations for the family reportedly poured in on a Facebook page.
When Stile’s officer manager told him about Victoria’s story, he immediately flew to Mississippi to offer up surgeries that would otherwise cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“I was there probably 72 hours later," Stile said. “I felt hurt for her.”
However, in the aftermath of the story, Louisville-based KFC said two separate investigations found no evidence substantiating the incident ever happened.
The Wilchers deny their story is a hoax and have hired a lawyer. But a website set up to take in donations for the family has offered refunds.
Stile said despite learning of the potential hoax, he still plans to donate a series of complicated surgeries to Victoria--who was left without a right eye and a partially paralyzed face after she was attacked earlier this year by three pit bulls. He said offering to help doesn't make him a hero.
“The doctors at the ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
NEW BRIGHTON, Minn., June 30 (UPI) --A 52-year-old Minnesota man bent a locked car door in half with his bare hands and pulled a man to safety after his car caught on fire on Sunday evening in New Brighton.
Robert Renning was driving on Interstate 35W around 6:30 p.m. when he passed a car that was on fire.
Renning got the attention of the driver, Michael Johannes, and got him to pull over.
"Flames and smoke were rolling around the car," Renning told the Star Tribune. "So I started to run over."
Johannes couldn't get the car's electronic locks and power windows to open, so Renning "somehow pried his fingers" along the vehicle's door frame and "bent the locked door in half from the top down."
After he created the opening, Renning was able to pull Johannes out before he was seriously injured, or worse.
"He did an extraordinary deed, bending a locked car door in half of a burning car to extricate a trapped person," Minnesota State Trooper Zachary Hill told WCCO. "I feel this man deserves any and all commendation for his extraordinary life-saving measure that kept another from burning alive."
Renning has a thank you call coming his way from Johannes very soon. "I have to talk to him," Johannes said. "I really want him to be recognized. Did you see the door? Did you see it? He saved my life."
An island off the coast of Sao Paolo, Brazil, is home to one of the deadliest snakes on Earth—and there are a lot of them. Some believe there's a golden lancehead viper for every square meter of Ilha de Queimada Grande, or as many as 4,000 of them, Smithsonian reports; others say there are five per square meter, the Wall Street Journal notes.
Thanks to rising sea levels 11,000 years ago, the snakes were separated from the mainland and evolved separately from their continental cousins. Having found themselves without predators and prey at ground-level, two things happened: Their numbers boomed, and they turned to migratory birds as a food source.
To keep their bitten birds from flying out of reach, golden lancehead vipers evolved venom as much as five times stronger than that of mainland snakes, allowing them to down the birds almost immediately.
That venom is so powerful it can melt human flesh and kill a human within an hour; their bites carry a 7% chance of death. No one lives on the island today, though the navy services an automated lighthouse there annually.
The last lighthouse keeper, his wife, and their three kids were rumored to be killed by the snakes in the '20s, reports Atlas Obscura, with the story going that they fled their home in an effort to get to their boat, only to be further attacked by snakes in the trees above them.
Today, one can only visit with a permit granted by the Brazilian government, and only with a doctor in tow. The country is also home to the Brazilian wandering spider, the world's most venomous spider, the Journal notes.
DETROIT – A 12-year-old Detroit boy who was missing for more than a week before he was discovered in his own basement told investigators his stepmother sent him there, according to a court record obtained Friday by a newspaper.
The petition, filed in Wayne County juvenile court by Children's Protective Services as part of a custody hearing, was obtained by the Detroit Free Press. A court employee told The Associated Press a petition was filed Friday, but it was not released to the public or the media.
According to the Free Press, the document says Charlie Bothuell V was placed in the basement behind boxes and totes by his stepmother, Monique Dillard-Bothuell, and told "not to come out, no matter what he hears."
Although Dillard-Bothuell knew her stepson was in the basement, she did not bring him food, according to the petition, which also says: "Charlie reports sneaking upstairs to get food when everyone left the home."
Charlie was found Wednesday by Detroit police in the bowels of the multiple-unit condo building where he lived with Dillard-Bothuell and his father, Charlie Bothuell IV. He was evaluated at a hospital and returned to his mother, police spokeswoman Sgt. Eren Stephens said.
The AP left messages Friday with Dillard-Bothuell, Charlie Bothuell IV and Bothuell's lawyer, Mark Magidson.
Authorities removed the boy's two younger siblings -- 4 years old and 10 months old -- from the custody of Dillard-Bothuell and Charlie Bothuell IV.
The document obtained by the Free Press also says Bothuell disclosed on Monday that he disciplined his son with a PVC pipe.
The petition says that after Charlie was taken to a hospital for treatment, a doctor observed a half-circular scar on the boy's chest. Charlie says the scar was "a result of his father driving a PVC pipe into his chest," according to the petition, which also ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
(Reuters) - A Maryland woman who ordered a meal at a Sonic Corp fast-food restaurant got something extra with her French fries - a bag of marijuana.
Carla McFarland, 35, of Frederick, Maryland, and her children, ages 6 and 8, were about to eat a chicken strips lunch on Thursday when she discovered a small, green plastic bag of marijuana in her fries, according to the Frederick County Sheriff's Office.
Spokeswoman Lieutenant Jennifer Bailey said on Friday no arrests had been made and the incident is under investigation.
McFarland posted about her find on Facebook, along with a photo of the bag.
"I order, food comes, I open a bag and this is what I see after 3 double takes ... yes that's what it is," she wrote.
McFarland said a Sonic employee claimed ownership of the marijuana and was promptly fired. McFarland also called police.
Sonic spokesman Patrick Lenow said restaurant management contacted police and was cooperating with authorities.
"The employee involved is no longer associated with the company, and the franchisee is conducting an investigation to ensure the issue is fully resolved,” he said in a statement.
The Frederick franchise location opened last month.
Possession of small amounts of marijuana is a misdemeanor in Maryland.
HUTCHINSON , Kan., June 27 (UPI) --A Kansas woman is facing arson charges after she allegedly set a small fire in her home early on Friday morning while trying to kill a spider.
According to the Hutchinson News, Ginny Griffith used a cigarette lighter to set some towels on fire in an attempt to assassinate the arachnid.
Five Hutchinson Fire Department units were able to extinguish the small fire in Griffith's half of a duplex. Firefighters found multiple points of origin for the fire and Griffith was arrested and charged with aggravated arson because the other half of the duplex was occupied.
No one was injured and the structure only suffered light smoke damage.
PHILADELPHIA – A metal security gate detached from the facade of an Italian ice shop Saturday afternoon, killing a 3-year-old girl, police said.
The security door fell on the child at a Rita's Water Ice store in north Philadelphia at around 4:30 p.m., according to the Philadelphia Police Department. The girl was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital and died after arrival.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to the child's family," said Linda Duke, a spokeswoman for Rita's Italian Ice, the shop's parent company. "Due to the current investigation we really cannot comment about the unfortunate incident."
Photos from the scene show the black metal gate lying on the sidewalk, pink balloons still tied to it in front of the shop's red and white striped awning. Several popped balloons appear trapped underneath the gate.
The child was there with her mother, according to WPVI-TV, and bystanders rushed to her aid while others gave CPR. Witnesses told the TV station a sorority and fraternity fundraiser was happening at the time.
Officials with the Department of Licenses and Inspections were investigating, police said.
No other information was immediately available.
An off-duty Columbus, Ohio firefighter was hospitalized in critical condition Saturday night after being struck by lightning while waiting for the start of a Major League Soccer game.
Columbus Fire Department Lt. Thad Turano told The Associated Press that emergency officials transported the victim in cardiac arrest to Ohio State Medical Center. WTTE reported that the man was in critical condition.
The game between the Columbus Crew and FC Dallas was scheduled to start at 8 p.m. local time, but kick-off was delayed due to storms with heavy rain and lightning that rolled through the area approximately 15 minutes before the scheduled start.
Fans were told to evacuate the stands and head toward the concourses of the double-decked stadium. The game was called at 9:12 p.m.
The Crew said the game was called off because of "reasons beyond our control" and that a makeup date hadn't been set. The Crew later said the game was postponed due to an "incident surrounding the inclement weather."
"To all -- we are sincerely sorry about tonight's postponement, but your safety is of the utmost importance," Crew owner Anthony Precourt said on Twitter. "We'll share more info as we can, but a member of our community was severely injured by the weather. Praying for him."
Crew fan Don Lewis told The Columbus Dispatch that he was taking cover during heavy rain in a portable toilet when he said he felt electricity run through the air and then heard someone in the toilet next to him call 911 to report that someone had been hit by lightning.
"All of a sudden it was just a bomb that went off," Lewis told the newspaper. "I knew it was close. The electricity ran through me."
He said he saw a man lying on the ground when he got out of the toilet.
"He was purple and ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
A Maryland man with a passion for Islamic art wanted to go to the Spanish city of Granada as part of a trip he was taking to Portugal, but a mistake by British Airways sent him and his partner to the Caribbean island of Grenada instead.
Edward Gamson's trip was ruined when the two-hour British Airways flight from London to Spain that he had anticipated turned out to be a a nine-hour trip down to the Caribbean.
Gamson and his partner noticed what was happening when they looked at the electronic map on the in-flight entertainment system, but by then it was too late. The couple never made it to Spain and the airline refused to reimburse their $4,500 first-class tickets, so Gamson brought the matter to court.
"I have a lifelong interest in Islamic art. I'm also of Spanish Jewish heritage so it was something I had always wanted to do to visit Granada and the Alhambra. I made it absolutely clear to the booking agent I wanted to go to Granada in Spain," Gamson told the Independent. Why on earth would I want to go to Grenada in the Caribbean if I was flying back to America from Lisbon? It's just so sad. A trip we had been really looking forward to was ruined and ... BA won't do the decent thing."
The airline did offer Gamson and his partner $376 each and 50,000 frequent-flyer miles, but that wasn't enough to offset the $34,000 they had already invested in the truncated trip.
Gamson is representing himself in the lawsuit.
"I have no legal background; I'm a dentist, but I know right from wrong -- I don't know if that does you any good in this world," Gamson told NBC News. "I really thought they would just want to settle with me, because it's so ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)