Courtesy Murphy, Falcon & Murphy(BALTIMORE) -- Three weeks after Baltimore’s top prosecutor announced initial charges against the six police officers involved in the controversial arrest of Freddie Gray, a grand jury has now indicted all six officers.
“As our investigation has continued, additional information has been discovered, and as is often the case during an ongoing investigation, charges can and should be revised based upon the evidence,” state’s attorney Marilyn Mosby, the chief prosecutor for Baltimore, announced Thursday afternoon.
The grand jury returned the indictments earlier in the day after hearing evidence from prosecutors for two weeks, Mosby said.
The charges outlined in the indictment are nearly identical to charges announced earlier this month -- though the grand jury added "reckless endangerment" charges and dropped false imprisonment charges against some of the officers.
Gray, 25, died last month after suffering a spinal injury during an arrest and subsequent van transport, during which he was handcuffed but unsecured. The incident sparked violent protests and a federal civil rights probe into the entire Baltimore Police Department over whether officers engage in a “pattern or practice” of discriminatory policing.
According to Mosby, the specific charges in the indictments are:
Officer Caesar Goodson Jr. (van driver)
Second-degree depraved heart murder; involuntary manslaughter; second-degree negligent assault; manslaughter by vehicle and gross negligence; manslaughter by vehicle, criminal negligence; misconduct in office for failure to perform a duty regarding safety of a prisoner; reckless endangerment.
Officer William Porter
Involuntary manslaughter; second-degree negligent assault; misconduct in office for failure to perform a duty regarding safety of a prisoner; reckless endangerment.
Lt. Brian Rice
Involuntary manslaughter; second-degree negligent assault; misconduct in office for failure to perform a duty regarding safety of a prisoner and an illegal arrest; reckless endangerment.
Officer Edward Nero
Second-degree intentional assault; misconduct in office for an illegal arrest; misconduct in office for failure to perform a duty regarding safety of a prisoner; reckless endangerment. Officer Garrett Miller
Second-degree intentional assault; misconduct in office for an illegal arrest; misconduct in office for failure to perform a duty regarding safety of a prisoner; reckless endangerment.
Sgt. Alicia White
Involuntary manslaughter; second-degree negligent assault; misconduct in office for failure to perform a duty regarding safety of a prisoner; reckless endangerment.
aijohn784/iStock/Thinkstock(OMAHA, Neb.) -- An Omaha police officer was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon while trying to serve a felony warrant to a suspect, according to the Omaha Police Department.
Officer Kerrie Orozco, 29, was scheduled to go on maternity leave Thursday to take care of her daughter, Olivia Ruth, born premature in February, according to authorities. Orozco was a 7-year veteran of the department and had worked in the North Gang Suppression Squad since 2012.
Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmanderer said Orozco and other officers were in pursuit of 26-year-old Marcus D. Wheeler when Wheeler began shooting at police. Police returned gunfire, hitting Wheeler. Orozco and Wheeler were both pronounced dead at Creighton University Medical Center soon after the 1 p.m. shooting, according to Schmanderer at a news conference.
Authorities said Wheeler was a gang member and convicted felon. He had a felony warrant for first-degree assault from a previous shooting in 2014.
“Officer Kerrie Orozco gave her life for all of us in her service to the Omaha Police Department,” said Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert in a statement. “She will be missed and remembered as a loving wife, mother, daughter and dedicated officer.”
The mayor’s office announced on Thursday that flags will be at half-mast through Memorial Day to honor Officer Orozco.
"She was a friend, a popular officer," Schmaderer said. "I just can't even imagine that this has happened. The city of Omaha owes her and her family a debt of gratitude."
Schmanderer said Orozco was very involved with the community and was a Girl Scout mentor, a baseball coach for the Omaha Boys and Girls Club and the president of the Police Officer’s Ball.
The Omaha community is rallying to raise money for Orozco’s husband, two step-children and her newborn daughter.
ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Douglas Hughes, the pilot and activist who shocked the country when he landed his gyrocopter on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., last month entered a not guilty plea in court on Thursday to all six charges pending against him, including two felonies.
The charges range from piloting without proper license to violating national defense airspace.
The judge lifted home detention, allowing him to travel within his home county of Hillsborough County, Florida. He will retain his ankle bracelet with GPS to track him. In addition, he may not be in Washington, except for court appearances and meeting with his lawyer. He also may not operate an aircraft and must stay away from the White House and Capitol.
Hughes was supported in the courtroom by several activists sympathetic to his call to get money out of politics.
Hughes told reporters outside, "I accept the consequences of what I did, because I believe it is critical that we return our democracy to the people."
Both Hughes and his lawyer referred to the landing as “civil disobedience.”
He said he is not eager for jail time and would consider a plea.
"I will never do anything like this again,” he said. “But I would not do anything different."
Hughes was presented with a stamp featuring his photo by activists from the group Code Pink whose representatives call Hughes "an American hero."
He is next due in court at on May 27 for a status hearing.
ABC News(WINDSOR, Colo.) -- The FBI has joined a probe into whether a possible serial shooter is on the loose in rural Colorado after a man was fatally shot while biking on a stretch of road recently.
John Jacoby, 48, was found dead near his bike Monday in Windsor, Colorado. Local authorities, who have since called in agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said it is the first homicide in Windsor in eight years.
Residents said Jacoby, reportedly a part-time parks worker and grocery store bagger who walked or rode his bike everywhere, was known by many people and loved by all.
A memorial was erected where his body was found. Investigators say they are now looking into whether Jacoby's slaying is linked to a mysterious shooting on a nearby highway in April.
On April 22, Cori Romero, 20, was shot in the neck while driving along Interstate 25 near Fort Collins, Colorado. Romero said initially she didn't think she'd been shot. She thought that her window had been shattered by an unknown object and that glass had punctured her skin.
"You don't really think that something like that would happen to you, just driving home from work," Romero said.
Investigators are now concerned that the two cases could be linked. In recent weeks, several other cars, including a sheriff's jail van, also have had windows blown out. It wasn't clear whether gunfire was the cause. The news has residents on edge, though.
"I think obviously people are going to be concerned when they hear of something like this, especially with two incidents within a relatively close proximity to each other," said David Moore, a spokesman for the Larimer County sheriff.
The Pelican Fest Triathlon that was originally scheduled for the weekend in Windsor has been canceled. The organizer posted on Facebook that it was not comfortable with the potential risk. Meanwhile, there are heightened patrols on the interstate and investigators are hoping for a break.
"It would be extremely helpful if we could get a citizen to come forward," Moore said.
ABC News(NEW YORK) -- It's that time of year again. Time to dust off the barbecue and replace coats with bathing suits. Memorial Day weekend is finally here, the unofficial start of summer.
Warm sunshine is expected on both coasts, which is great news for the beaches, but that isn't the case for the plain states, the Midwest and central parts of the country.
The East Coast will see temperatures climb throughout the weekend from Florida to New Jersey.
By Monday, some spots could reach the mid- to upper-80s in the Mid-Atlantic states. New England will be a bit milder, with highs topping out in the 60s and 70s. Dry weather is on tap for much of the coast, with a bright mix of sun and clouds -- great beach weather.
Out West, more sunshine and warm temperatures, especially for Southern California and the Southwest. The Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies could see some wet weather throughout the weekend. Scattered showers with mostly cloudy skies are expected with cooler temperatures in the 60s.
The main trouble area for the weekend is across the plain states and the Midwest, where scattered thunderstorms, some severe, will threaten the area each day of the holiday weekend, and could put a damper on any outdoor activities. Large hail, damaging winds and isolated tornadoes are possible from the Southern Plains to the Midwest, mainly in the afternoon and evening hours from Saturday through Monday.
A bigger concern with these storms will be the potential for significant flooding over the weekend, especially in parts of Texas and Oklahoma. Texas was in an exceptional drought the past 3 to 5 years, and with these recent rains this month they are finally seeing some relief. But all of this rain so fast is causing dangerous flash flooding.
In Oklahoma City, they've already received nearly 14 inches this month, and with more rain on the way, May 2015 will likely go down as the wettest month on record there.
From Texas to Oklahoma, flash flood watches are posted through the holiday weekend for an additional three to six inches of rain. On top of already saturated ground, this could become a life-threatening flood situation, and anyone with outdoor plans should pay attention to severe and flash flood warnings in their area.
Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) — Two days after a ruptured pipeline leaked an estimated 21,000 gallons of oil off the California shore, wildlife — including pelicans — have been found coated in oil on the beach.
At least one bird was found dead even as teams from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife combed the area looking for injured animals. According to the department at least 272 people are taking part in the clean-up effort.
The oil leak was first reported around noon on Tuesday in southern California. The pipeline was built in 1991 by Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline, which said it shut down the flow of oil.
"Plains deeply regrets this release has occurred and is making every effort to limit its environmental impact,” the company said in an earlier statement.
A day after the spill, oil could be seen on nearly every rock in Refugio as crews worked to clean up the area. Further south along the coast, one beach was nearly covered with crude oil Wednesday before it apparently was washed to sea before Thursday morning. The pungent crude oil smell lingered in the area as crew members in white suits worked on Rufugio beach to clean the area.
The Refugio state beach is often packed with campers during Memorial Day weekend, but will now be closed indefinitely as crews operate to clean that beach and other coastlines.
Officials said there's a potential that far more oil leaked into the Pacific ocean through the faulty pipeline with a worst case scenario at 105,000 gallons.
Obtained by ABC News(CAPE COD, Mass.) — A rogue wave slammed into a boat carrying students on a whale watching trip off of Massachusetts Wednesday, sending eight to the hospital.
The boat — the Captain John & Son II — was carrying 112 people, all part of a high school group from New York, when it was struck by a wave, according to ABC-affiliated station WCVB-TV. The students on the 76-foot boat were whale watching off of Cape Cod.
“Everyone went sliding down because no one was holding on,” student Marisa Kehley said. “I was terrified. I didn’t think that waves that big could hit a boat.”
The wave, as high as eight feet, combined with 20-knot winds to create conditions so rough that some of the passengers on board the boat passed out.
Emergency crews were waiting when the boat reached the dock, and eight people were taken to an area hospital, many of them suffering cuts and bruises. All of the students were later released from the hospital.
The situation had some students fearful of going back on the water.
“I never want to go on another whale watch again,” Kehley said. “I didn’t think that the ocean was going to be that bad.”
iStock/Thinkstock(WAIMANALO, Hawaii) — A second Marine has died as a result of injuries he sustained when an Osprey aircraft experienced a hard landing during a training flight in Hawaii, officials said.
Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Determan, 21, of Maricopa, Arizona, died Tuesday, according to a release from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
One other Marine was also killed Sunday, when the aircraft disappeared behind a cloud of red dust as it began to land around 11:40 a.m. at Oahu's Bellows Air Force Station.
“Lance Cpl. Determan represents the best America has to offer,” said Col Vance L. Cryer, commanding officer, 15th MEU. “Our country and our Corps are poorer for his loss, but his example will continue to inspire us."
The Osprey was carrying 22 U.S. service members when it crashed. According to the Marines, 21 Marines and one Navy corpsman were on board. Three others remain hospitalized, but in stable condition.
Investigators said on Monday that they were not sure why the aircraft went down in Hawaii but that an investigation was ongoing and that there would be no change in Osprey flights.
"It's too soon to determine exactly what caused the crash," the Pentagon's Warren said. "As of now there have been no safety messages, no adjustments to operations."
ABC News(SANTA BARBARA, Calif.) -- California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a statement of emergency in Santa Barbara on Wednesday after a ruptured pipeline off the coast leaked an estimated 21,000 gallons of crude oil.
The leak was first reported around noon on Tuesday when an onshore pipeline broke, allowing crude to reach a storm drain that empties into the ocean.
At least two oil slicks that when combined cover approximately nine miles of the Santa Barbara coast have been identified by the Coast Guard.
The cause of the rupture is not yet known but Coast Guard crews were able to stop the leak by 3 p.m. Tuesday, authorities said.
Nearby Refugio State Beach was evacuated and officials did not say if the beach would be re-opened in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
The pipeline was built in 1991 by Houston-based Plains All American Pipeline, which said it shut down the flow of oil.
“Plains deeply regrets this release has occurred and is making every effort to limit its environmental impact,” the company said in a statement.
The spill occurred along the same stretch of coastline that was decimated in a 1969 spill that helped spark the modern day environmental movement.
Daron Dylon Wint, 34, seen in this undated police handout, is wanted in connection with a quadruple homicide which occurred May 14, 2015, in northwest Washington. (Metropolitan Police Department)(LANHAM, Md.) -- Authorities searched a Maryland home overnight in the investigation of a deadly mansion murder, going through the trash and removing bags of evidence -- but in the end it was a piece of pizza crust that could lead to the suspect's arrest.
Daron Dylon Wint, 34, was identified on Wednesday as the key suspect in the quadruple slaying and arson attack in Northwest, a section of Washington, D.C. A court issued an arrest warrant for Wint with “murder one while armed,” authorities said.
Two sources familiar with the case told ABC News that DNA found on the crust of a Domino's pizza that had been delivered to the house led authorities to identify Wint as the suspect.
Police visited a home in Lanham, Maryland, and removed three bags of items in relation to the investigation.
Wint’s stepmother, speaking to ABC News, called Wint “hostile.”
“He doesn’t listen,” said the woman, who has not been identified. “You try to tell him and guide him the right way, but he thinks he knows the law … more than anybody else. He was very argumentative. Everywhere he goes there's an argument ... very arrogant.”
Savvas Savopoulos and his wife Amy, their 10-year-old son Phillip and longtime housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa were found dead May 14. According to a source familiar with the case, only the boy was burned to death -- the other victims were doused with gasoline and stabbed.
Police reports show that the victims made a flurry of calls the day of the fire. Additionally, Savopoulos’ personal assistant dropped off a package containing $40,000 in cash to the home, the source said.
Bernardo Alfaro, Figuera’s husband, told ABC News in an exclusive interview that he became alarmed when his wife didn’t come home.
“I didn’t hear from her, and every time I call the phone, it just going straight to voicemail,” he said.
After Alfaro couldn’t reach his wife, he drove to the house, knocked on the door and rang the doorbell. But after Savapolous called him saying he’d call back, Alfaro went home, waiting for a call that never came.
The house was engulfed in flames hours later, authorities said.
Courtesy Murphy, Falcon & Murphy(BALTIMORE) -- Shaky cell phone video released on Wednesday may show officers with Freddie Gray during one of the stops made while the Baltimore man was in police custody after his arrest, according to a report.
The Baltimore Sun released the footage taken by an unidentified witness. The video appears to show police officers surrounding Gray, 25, as he is motionless outside a police van.
It is the latest of several videos that have emerged in the case.
Police took Gray into custody in Baltimore on April 12. An officer was heard telling dispatch at 8:40 a.m. that officers had one person in custody in the 1700 block of Presbury Street, two blocks south of North and Mount Streets, police said.
The cell phone footage takes place at the first stop officers made during Gray's apprehension, at the corner of Mount and Baker streets, according to The Baltimore Sun. Multiple police are seen in the video, though it is not clear which of six officers arrested in the case are involved in this particular moment.
Reached for comment about the video, State Attorney’s Office Director of Communications Rochelle Ritchie said, “We have nothing to add at this point.”
Earlier this month, Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said officers put flex cuffs on Gray's wrists and leg cuffs on his legs before loading him “on his stomach, head first into the wagon.”
They did not secure him with a seat belt, she said, which is “contrary to a [Baltimore Police Department] order.”
The medical examiner’s office ruled Gray’s death was ruled a homicide by severe trauma by earlier this month.
Officers Caesar Goodson Jr., William Porter, Edward Nero and Garrett Miller, Lt. Brian Rice, and Sgt. Alicia Miller were arrested and charged in Gray's death.
The officers have not yet entered pleas, according to White's attorney, Ivan Bates, who had no comment on the new video other than saying he did not see White in it.
However, Michael Davey, an attorney hired by one of the officers who spoke on behalf of all six, said after charges were filed, “These officers will be vindicated because they have done nothing wrong.”
He added, “No officer injured Mr. Gray, caused harm to Mr. Gray, and [they] are truly saddened by his death.”
Gray sustained a spinal injury when he was in custody and required medical attention. He went into a coma several days later and died a week after his apprehension.
It remains unclear why Gray was taken into custody, with police only noting he ran away from officers.
AdamLongSculpture/iStock/Thinkstock(YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo.) -- Visitors to Wyoming's renowned Yellowstone National Park could find themselves thrown in jail for simply taking a photograph without permission, according to critics of a statute signed into law by the Wyoming governor this spring.
While the law is meant to criminalize the act of entering public and private lands in order to collect pollution data, critics argue that the law's wide-ranging restrictions could ensnare a tourist taking photos in one of the state's National Parks.
"A Yellowstone tourist who goes for a hike with the intention of photographing the natural resources in Yellowstone is in violation of this law because they are entering into open land for the purpose of collecting what falls under the definition of resource data," Susan Kraham, a senior attorney for the Environmental Law Clinic at Columbia University, told ABC News.
Kraham noted that to violate the law, a tourist would have to have the intent to submit their photos to a government agency, though that intent could be as benign as wanting to enter the photo into a government-sponsored photography contest.
Proponents of what has been called the "trespassing to collect data" law passed last March, argue that prosecutors would never bring such a case to court, but opponents point out there's nothing in the law's language to prevent prosecutors from doing so.
"A promise is wonderful but the law allows for prosecution," said Linda Burt, a lawyer and former director of the now-closed Wyoming ACLU chapter, which fought the law during legislative proceedings.
Under the law's broad framework, anyone who enters "open land" defined as "land outside the exterior boundaries of any incorporated city, town, subdivision" with the intent to collect data without explicit permission to do so, could face up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine. Burt called the law "a very dangerous precedent."
Opponents have called the law an "ag-gag," alleging the new regulations are intended to prevent the reporting of pollution on public lands.
"What is unique and highly problematic is that it is clearly intended to apply to public land," Mark Squillace, a law professor at the University of Colorado who specializes in natural resource law, told ABC News. "It essentially makes a party guilty of trespass if they engage in what would otherwise be lawful activity on federal public land."
Critics say it’s no coincidence that such a law was passed amid an ongoing dispute between a group of Wyoming ranchers and the Western Watershed Project, a group of "citizen enforcers" who set out to collect data on E. coli contamination in public streams and rivers that they allege is caused by industrial cattle grazing.
"The ag industry didn't like what I was doing so it passed a law to make it illegal," said Jonathan Ratner, a researcher with the WWP who has been documenting alleged pollution in Wyoming for more than a decade.
A group of twelve ranchers are currently suing Ratner and the WWP for allegedly trespassing through private land in order to collect pollution data on public streams that the WWP alleges have been contaminated by the ranchers' cattle. Lawyers for the WWP have asked the suit to be dismissed, calling it “an abuse of the legal process.”
"The idea that people would use common law to destroy an organization that is going out into public lands and revealing legal problems is deeply troubling to me," Justin Pidot, an environmental law professor at the University of Denver and a lawyer representing the WWP on a pro-bono basis, told ABC News.
"Information about the environment is vital both to the government and the public," Pidot said.
Supporters of the trespassing to collect data law argue it protects property and privacy rights, two things Wyoming tends to pride itself on.
"We hold the protection of private property in very high regard," state Sen. Leland Christensen, a Republican lawmaker who chaired the committee that oversaw the bill's legislative process, told ABC News.
"People that own property, either good or bad actors, deserve to be protected on their private property," said Jim Magagna, executive vice president of the Western Stock Growers Association, a trade association that supported the bill during the legislative process. Magagna said most industrial cattle grazing practices are designed to avoid pollution, and that Wyoming's trespassing laws needed to be updated.
But opponents argue that Wyoming already has strict trespassing laws in place for private property.
"The Wyoming law is totally unnecessary to criminalize trespass onto private land," William Funk, a professor of law at the Lewis and Clark University, wrote to ABC News in a statement. Funk also argued that collecting data is a form of free speech protected by the First Amendment.
According to Ratner, the law will have a chilling effect on his attempts to report pollution.
Kraham, of Columbia University, said: "The really big issue here is that the appropriate response to citizen scientists and resource protection is for the state to step up its enforcement as opposed to silence those who are bringing the issues to the public attention."
Courtesy Nada Owusu(DANVILLE, Va.) -- A Virginia State Trooper’s act of kindness has gotten him a lot of attention from one loving mom.
Dr. Nada Owusu’s son, Joseph, was driving home from an exam at Virginia Tech on May 14 when one of his tires had “blown off his car,” ABC News affiliate WSET-TV reported on Tuesday.
According to a post on Facebook, Dr. Owusu wrote that Virginia State Trooper Matt Okes “got on his knees to replace his tire” and “provided all the needed protection” until 2 a.m.
In the post, Dr. Owusu wrote the trooper never questioned why her son was driving a Mercedes, just showed up and tried to help.
"I wanted to thank him and share it with my Facebook friends about how a police officer helped my son," she told ABC News on Wednesday. "It was late in the night and he stayed with my son for 4 hours. I was expecting 50 maybe 100 friends to like it. Then it went viral, and I was surprised."
Dr. Owusu told WSET-TV that Joseph was in a dangerous area because “the road is curvy [and] there are no lights.”
Owusu said she went public with the incident since she was trying to give recognition to the trooper for keeping her son safe because “it was very comforting to me as a mother.”
Now, that recognition has been shared over 22,000 times and widely commented on, including by Montel Williams, who said "Grateful that your son is okay, and also grateful that you shared Trooper Okes' act of heroic kindness with the world."
In a statement, Okes said, “The attention the photo has generated on social media has been overwhelming and I certainly wasn't expecting the photo to receive as much attention as it has. I was simply doing my job as any other Virginia state trooper would. I appreciate the kind comments by Dr. Owusu and am glad Joseph and his parents were able to finally make it home safe. I am honored to be a member of the Virginia state police and am blessed by God to serve and protect."