Teen Sentenced to Prison for Texting-While-Driving Death

Harsh punishment is warning to others not to text and drive.

Source: (http://www.web2carz.com/trends/offline/1022/teen-sentenced-to-prison-for-texting-while-driving-death )

By: Jena Kehoe

Web2Carz Staff Writer

Published: June 11th, 2012

 
A Massachusetts teenager was sentenced this week to two years in prison and loss of his license for 15 years after being convicted of motor vehicle homicide. Aaron Deveau, 18, is the first driver in the state to face such charges. On February 20, 2011, Deveau was driving and his vehicle swerved across the center line, crashing head on into Daniel Bowley’s truck, causing life-ending injuries.

Bowley, a 55-year-old father of three, sustained massive head trauma from the accident and spent 18 days in a Boston hospital before passing away. Deveau pleaded not guilty to texting while driving, and claimed in his testimony that he was distracted by the amount of homework he had and had sent his last text message in the parking lot of the grocery store where he worked. He said he had left the phone on the passenger’s seat the whole time, but phone records showed that Devea sent a text message at 2:34 p.m. and received a response at 2:35 p.m.—the time of the crash.

Texting while driving is a crime in 38 states, but the illegality doesn’t seem to deter many people, as watching rush-hour traffic can seem like watching bumper cars as people drift in and out of lane lines.

District Court Judge Stephen Abany said that the maximum sentence for motor vehicle homicide was doled out to send a message of deterrence to the state’s drivers.

Deterrence “really seems to come to play in this case. People really want to be safe on the highways,” he said. People need to “keep their eyes on the road.”

David Teater, senior director of the transportation initiative at the National Safety Council, agreed with the ruling.

“People can violate these laws and there really isn’t much of a deterrence without examples like this. Clearly, being distracted is an extremely deadly thing that’s going on in this country and people need to understand they just can’t do it,” Teater said.

Texting while driving is a crime in 38 states, but the illegality doesn’t seem to deter many people, as watching rush-hour traffic can seem like watching bumper cars as people drift in and out of lane lines.

“This is a threat that did not exist just a few years ago, and we’ve never had to understand how being connected to a mobile world was dangerous,” Teater said. “Unfortunately, now the way we’re beginning to understand the danger of it is by people getting hurt and dying. And that needs to change.”

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Virginia man kills family and himself over fear Obama would be re-elected

 

 

A Virginia man allegedly killed himself and his family earlier this week in part because he was upset by the thought of President Barack Obama being re-elected.

“He felt that our God-given rights were being taken away,” a family friend identified as “Maggie L.” told The Daily Mail. “He didn’t like where the country was going.”

The friend said Albert Peterson, a defense contractor, had a history of paranoia and was also affected by a favorite uncle’s recent suicide. On Wednesday, The Washington Post reported that Peterson, his wife Kathleen and their two sons, Matthew and Christopher, were found dead in their home.

 

According to The Mail, authorities believe Peterson shot his wife and the children before turning the gun on himself. Maggie told the newspaper that his family had a history of mental illness; his father killed himself when Peterson was young, and the death of his mother five years ago, she said, nearly drove him to suicide before Kathleen saved him.

But more recently, Maggie said, Peterson was behaving erratically, sending paranoid political emails daily to family and friends.

“They were very well off people and they saved a lot of money,” she said about the Petersons. “He couldn’t understand how the government could be so irresponsible and he thought it would be on the backs of his boys.”

WJLA-TV reported on Wednesday that friends of the family and classmates of Matthew and Christopher held a vigil to support each other.

“It doesn’t really hit you until you get to school to know that you’re never going to see them at school anymore, or anytime,” said a family friend, Jazmine Mitchell.

WJLA’s report from the vigil for the Peterson family, aired Wednesday night, can be seen below.

SOURCE:

By Arturo Garcia
Friday, September 28, 2012 17:10 EDT
Raw Story (http://s.tt/1oEms)

Dads Fight ‘Outdated’ Michigan Law Barring Them From Their Children

To prove he was the legitimate and engaged father to his daughter, Daniel Quinn handed positive DNA test results and a Christmas video of himself and his child to a Michigan judge in 2009, but a 55-year-old state law still bars Quinn from have any legal access to his own flesh and blood.

Quinn is not suspected of any abuse or any other crime. Instead, he fell afoul of the Michigan Maternity Act, which holds that babies conceived during a marriage are a product of that union — even when they were conceived outside of the marriage.

Although she was still married to another man, the mother of now 5-year-old Maeligh Border and Quinn lived together for three years, he said.

The DNA test was his bid to unequivocally establish paternity as the relationship with Maeligh’s mom, Candace Beckwith — who has since pleaded guilty in Kentucky to child endangerment charges in connection with the growing and sale of hallucinogenic mushrooms in Kentucky — began unraveling two years ago.

“The judge never made a determination on that DNA test,” said Quinn, of Hartland, Mich., who hasn’t seen his daughter in two and a half years and isn’t entirely certain where she is. “Eight months after I presented that to the courts, the [mother’s] husband walked in and said he was the only father my daughter every knew.”

The claim by Beckwith’s husband was the furthest thing from the truth, Quinn said. But as a result, Quinn could not block the man, who is currently in jail on drug charges, from taking Maeligh and her mother to another state.

That pushed Quinn into what is a small, growing coterie of fathers rallying behind legislation aimed at undoing several of its key provisions, chiefly the one automatically granting husbands — estranged or not — rights to a child who is not their biological offspring.

Already approved in the Michigan State Senate, the bipartisan bills are now moving through the state’s House of Representatives. If signed into law in early 2012, as is expected, the change will be exceedingly welcomed and way over the due, the fathers, their lawyers and other supporters said.

“It’s a sad, sad scenario,” said Matt Dykema, a house painter from Grand Rapids, Mich., who fathered an infant with a woman he impregnated while she was going through a divorce. “The law is so outdated. I’m sure that, at the time it was put into effect, it was feasible.”

It’s been three weeks since he last saw 5-month-old Madelynn Jane Fisher, the last in what have been increasingly sporadic visits.

“His DNA test confirmed to the 10-millioneth decimal point — 99.9999997 percent — that he’s the father,” said Chris Houghtaling, Dykema’s Muskegon, Mich., attorney.

The maternity act that is sidelining fathers such as his client was enacted during a very different era, when science hadn’t made it possible to pinpoint a child’s paternity, Houghtaling said.

“Unfortunately,” he added, “this child is being denied an opportunity to have a relationship with the biological father. It’s a tragedy.”

Given the strictures of what Houghtaling dismisses as an arcane law, Dykema “can’t even go to court and say, ‘Judge, please allow me to be a dad,'” Houghtaling told ABC affiliate WZZM in Grand Rapids.

Quinn, Dykema, and other fathers in similar situations, have no legal standing in Michigan, even with positive DNA tests and other documented evidence of their parenting, said Houghtaling, a candidate for Ottaway County Circuit Court Judge.

Petitioning the courts to allow Dykema to establish paternity, custodial rights and “parenting time, a relationship” might, on the face of it, seem futile. But the recent litigation and years-long cases fought by Dykema and others, nevertheless, have been the fathers’ vital means of pressing for change, the men, their lawyers and supports said.

Inaction, they said, was not an option.

“When Maeligh was taken from me, everything changed,” Quinn said. “Christmases, holidays, there’s always an important piece missing … It’s like a death in the family.”

It’s a trauma that’s hard to articulate, said Jim Dykema, Matt Dyekma’s father. The standoff over his firstborn grandchild has been nothing short of heartbreaking. So, the family is pinning its hopes on the legislative proposals.

If the Maternity Act is upended, “the door to the courthouse opens again for Matt,” Jim Dykema said. “Right now, it’s closed, bolted and locked.”

Matt “really loves that little girl,” said Marcia Dykema, Matt’s mother. “He totally takes care of her when she’s here. To see her for a while and then all of a sudden you can’t have any contact at all, it’s been rough.”

Michelle Fisher, the baby’s mother, declined to comment for this article, referring questions to her lawyer, Rachel Terpstra, who also would not comment for this article.

Bill Fisher, Michelle Fisher’s ex-husband, could not be reached for comment.

As things now stand, Bill Fisher would have to waive his parental rights before Dykema can demand more of a role in rearing his child and spending time with her.

Child Protective Services placed 5-month-old Madelynn Jane Fisher in the temporary custody of Michelle Fisher’s mother, Mary Garbrecht, in mid-September when Fisher, a mother of five, came under mental duress. ABC News left messages on Garbrecht answering machine but received no response.

ABC News could not reach Beckwith, mother to Quinn’s daughter, could for comment, but she spoke with ABC affiliate WXYZ-TV in Detroit.

“In her (Maeleigh’s) case, Three years ago, the law did what it needed to do,” Beckwith told WXYZ.

She said the law allowed her to leave Quinn, who she didn’t think was doing enough to provide for her and Maeligh.

Quinn said he last saw Maeligh on Memorial Day 2008, and last spoke with her in August 2008.

“She’s still in Kentucky, the last I heard. And I’m hearing this through someone who’s been anonymous throughout this whole thing, and I don’t care to know. It gives me a peace to know she’s OK,” Quinn said.

Should Michigan’s proposed act pass, it would become aligned with nine states that have passed the so-called Uniform Parentage Act: Alabama, Delaware, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

The American Bar Association Family Law Section and its Steering Committee on Unmet Legal Needs of Children, National Child Support Enforcement Association, American Association of Matrimonial Attorneys and the Council of State Governments are among the act’s endorsers.

Michigan’s current maternity and paternity rules are based on centuries-old English law that “doesn’t make any sense in today’s world of DNA results,” said Jeanne Hannah, a Traverse, Mich., attorney who has represented several fathers affected by Michigan’s law.

“A mother who’s decided she doesn’t want a relationship with the biological father can prevent that [father-child] relationship from happening, even though she may ultimately be divorced or even in cases where that husband doesn’t want to be the father,” she said of the current law in Michigan. “It deprives the child of a parent-child
relationship with any father at all.”

Source: http://t.co/C7hXL2Bg

Missing 9-year-old Indiana girl found dead

(CNN) — Aliahna Lemmon, a 9-year-old Indiana girl who disappeared two days before Christmas, was found dead Monday night, officials said.
Authorities charged 39-year-old Michael L. Plumadore with murder, the Allen County sheriff’s office said.
Sheriff’s Officer Jeremy Tinkel would not disclose Plumadore’s relationship with Aliahna or details about what led to the man’s arrest.
Earlier, Amber Story, the girl’s grandmother, described Plumadore as a neighbor and close family friend. She said Aliahna and her two sisters were staying with Plumadore while Aliahna’s mother recovered from the flu.
Prior to the suspect’s arrest, Story said she believed the girl could have sleepwalked out of Plumadore’s Fort Wayne home early Friday morning and been taken. She said Aliahna suffered from partial hearing loss and partial blindness, but has gotten out of her home while sleepwalking before.
Plumadore is set to make make his first appearance in Allen County Court on Tuesday morning.

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/27/justice/indiana-missing-girl/index.html?on.cnn=1

Light drinking linked to breast cancer risk

CHICAGO — Whether sipping beer, wine or whiskey, women who drink just three alcoholic beverages a week face slightly higher chances for developing breast cancer compared with teetotalers, a study of more than 100,000 U.S. nurses found.
The link between alcohol and breast cancer isn’t new, but most previous studies found no increased risk for breast cancer among light drinkers. The new research provides compelling evidence because it followed so many women for up to almost 30 years, experts said.
Still, the study only shows an association between alcohol and breast cancer; it doesn’t prove that drinking causes the disease. There could be some other reason light drinkers appeared to be at higher risk—maybe they were less active than nondrinkers or had unhealthy diets, said Dr. Susan Love, a breast cancer expert and author who runs a Santa Monica, Calif.-based research foundation.
Women in the study who averaged three to six drinks a week throughout the study had a 15 percent higher chance of developing breast cancer than nondrinkers. That risk means, for example, that among women in their 50s, who on average face a 2.38 percent risk for breast cancer, light drinking would result in 4 additional cases of breast cancer per 1,000 women Risks increased by 10 percent for every 10 grams of alcohol consumed daily. That’s equal to a little less than one 12-ounce bottle of beer, a 4-ounce glass of wine or a shot of whiskey. The increasingly elevated risks were a little higher than seen in other research. It made no difference whether the women drank liquor, beer and wine.
Given research suggesting that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol including red wine may protect against heart disease, deciding whether to avoid alcohol is a personal choice that should be based on a woman’s other risks for breast cancer and heart disease, the researchers said.
The study appears in Wednesday’s Journal of the American Medical Association. It began in 1980, asking healthy, mostly white nurses aged 30 to 55 to fill out periodic questionnaires about lifestyle and risk factors for cancer and heart disease. Follow-up ended in 2008 or when women died or were diagnosed with cancer.
The researchers took into account other cancer risk factors, including age of menstruation and menopause, family history, weight and smoking, and still found a link with alcohol. The strongest risks were seen with cumulative consistent alcohol use throughout the study. Increased risks also were seen in binge drinkers—women who consumed at least three drinks daily in a typical month.
The results do not apply to women who may have partied hard during week-long vacations but otherwise rarely drank, said lead author Dr. Wendy Chen, a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School.
“No one should feel guilty about one particular week or two,” Chen said.
The results don’t mean women can avoid breast cancer by not drinking, and they don’t answer whether women can lower their risk if they stop drinking, said breast cancer specialist Dr. David Winchester, chief of surgical oncology with NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Ill.
Drinking alcohol “is definitely not one of the leading explanations” for why breast cancer develops, he said. “It’s one of many contributing factors.”
Cancer researcher Jo Freudenheim noted that the risks linked with alcohol, shown in this study and others, are much lower than those associated with smoking and lung cancer. The study “doesn’t change the picture; it just brings it into a little sharper focus,” said Freudenheim, head of social and preventive medicine at the University at Buffalo.

Source http://www.hkou.com

News Alert!:Carjacking kills 4-year-old, injures baby brother

A man with a semi-automatic rifle opened fire on a family’s vehicle during an attempted carjacking at a north Houston apartment complex on Sunday, killing a 4-year-old girl and injuring her 1-year-old brother.

The family was getting into a car to leave the Live Oak Bend complex, 1351 Greens Parkway, around 1:30 p.m. when the armed man approached the father and demanded the keys to the late-model Pontiac Grand Prix. Before the father could remove the keys from the ignition and as he pleaded for his family’s safety, the gunman fired shots at the car, police said.

“They had to take his baby’s life for a car,” cried 24-year-old Carmella Williams, a cousin of the father.

Police had little information Sunday about the gunman, who fled the scene. The parents — who sped off in fear — flagged down an officer on the feeder road of Beltway 8 near TC Jester.

The 4-year-old was taken to Methodist Willowbrook Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The boy was taken to another area hospital and is expected to be OK.

“This is a pretty brutal crime,” Houston Police Department Homicide Division Sgt. John Roberts said. “This is pretty ugly.”

Grieving relatives mourned the loss of the happy little girl, who they say had sunny disposition and a sweet tooth for candy and juice.

“I had just seen her two days ago,” Williams said. “I just played with her and now she’s gone.”

Rims possibly the motive

Williams noted that her cousin’s car may have been targeted for its expensive rims.

She was frustrated that witnesses in the apartment complex, where the family recently moved, weren’t immediately providing police with more information about the killing, which happened in broad daylight.

Police said a second suspect may have involved, and that a red Ford Taurus and blue Buick LeSabre were seen leaving the parking lot.

“Unfortunately a 4-year-old girl lost her life in this case — a child who had not had the full experience to go to the zoo or McDonald’s or even school,” HPD Homicide Division officer Ramon Cervantes Jr. said. “We’re asking specifically the residents of this apartment complex, and anyone else for that matter, to come forward with information about this case.”

Anyone with information in this case is urged to contact HPD Homicide Division at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

anita.hassan@chron.com

 

source: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/6923848.html