Texas appeals court blocks Rodney Reed execution

(CNN)The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals blocked the execution of Rodney Reed Friday, allowing a lower court to consider Reed’s claim that the state presented false testimony and that he is innocent. Reed was sentenced to death more than 20 years ago for the 1996 assault, rape and strangling of 19-year-old Stacey Stites. He was scheduled to be executed November 20. The inmate and attorneys with the Innocence Project say they have evidence that exonerates him and allegedly implicates Stites’ fiancée at the time, Jimmy Fennell, who was a police officer. Reed’s team will be able to present topics to a judge that include evidence of “actual innocence,” according to one of Reed’s lawyers, Andrew MacRae. Innocence Project lawyers say …

New Hampshire couple found buried on Texas beach near campsite

(CNN)The remains of a man and woman found this week on a beach in Texas have been identified as a couple from New Hampshire who had been camping there, according to a Kleberg County Sheriff’s Office release obtained Friday by CNN affiliate KZTV. “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the family and friends of the Butlers on the tragic loss of their loved ones,” the sheriff’s office said in a news release. The couple’s truck and camping trailer is missing, the sheriff’s office said. The couple on October 15 set up their trailer near the spot on the beach were they were found. Someone communicated with them the next day, the release said. The sheriff’s office has not identified any …

Authorities have arrested the man seen in truck that belonged to NH couple killed on Texas beach

(CNN)The man Texas police were searching for in connection with the killings of a New Hampshire man and woman has been arrested, police say. People matching their description were seen crossing the border at Eagle Pass, Texas, District Attorney John Hubert said. On Monday, authorities released a still from a surveillance camera video that purportedly shows Williams and the woman in the couple’s truck several days after the New Hampshire couple last made contact with family and friends. The remains of James Lawrence Butler III and Michelle Elaine Butler, of Rumney, New Hampshire, were found buried in the sand of a Padre Island beach in late October. They had been missing for about 10 days. Their deaths were ruled homicides …

Couple who paid to cheat on daughter’s ACT and SAT gets 1 month in prison

(CNN)A federal judge sentenced Gregory and Marcia Abbott to 1 month in prison for paying $125,000 to falsely boost their daughter’s ACT and SAT test scores as part of the college admissions scam. The month-long sentence is similar to those given to other parents who participated in the test-cheating aspect of the college admissions scam. The actress Felicity Huffman was sentenced to two weeks in prison and Gordon Caplan was sentenced to one month in prison for similarly facilitating cheating on their children’s standardized tests. Those parents who paid to get their children into prominent universities under the guise that they were recruited athletes have been sentenced to longer prison stays. Stephen Semprevivo and Devin Sloane were each sentenced to …

An elderly couple in Florida says a bobcat attacked them on their morning walk

(CNN)An elderly couple on an early morning walk was attacked by an animal they described as a bobcat in Lauderhill, Florida, according the city’s fire department. In his 20 years with the fire department, Levy said he’s “never seen anything like that.” The couple is “adamant this was a bobcat,” Levy said. The couple were taken to Broward Health Medical Center, where the man was treated and released but has remained in the hospital to be with his wife, Levy said. She is said to be in fair condition, according to Levy. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials surveyed the area on Friday, trying to determine whether a bobcat was responsible for the attack. The officialssaid while a bobcat …

Fugitive couple facing murder charges are in custody

(CNN)The married couple accused of killing a 72-year-old man and then escaping as they were being transported from New York to Arizona to face charges has been taken into custody. The couple escaped custody in late August as they were being extradited on charges of arson, burglary and murder in connection with the death of a Vietnam veteran in Tuscon, Arizona. They used a medical emergency to get the guards to pull over and then threw them in the back of the van, Gonzales said. While on the run, they might have been getting help from white supremacists, Gonzales said at a news conference Monday. “Somebody like Blane in prison — with both local — with both state and federal …

Fugitive couple facing murder charges may be getting help from white supremacists, authorities say

(CNN)One of the people accused of killing a 72-year-old man and overpowering two security officers to escape custody has been added to the US Marshals Service’s list of the 15 most wanted fugitives. “I don’t think there’s a question that there are people that are assisting in harboring these individuals, and it is a felony,” he said. Authorities believe on the day of their escape, the couple drove the hijacked van to a remote area in northeast Arizona to meet with a new person and get a new vehicle. They then left the van with the guards behind. The guards managed to free themselves after a few hours, and they notified the Apache County Sheriff’s Department, Gonzales had said. By …

Married couple accused of murder had an 8-hour head start after escape, authorities say

(CNN)A husband and wife accused of killing a 72-year-old man overpowered two security guards in Utah and tied them up in a van, giving the couple hours of head start on authorities trying to recapture them. “And once they got over to the side of the road, they were able to overpower them, bind them and threw them in the back of the van they were in,” said David Gonzales, US Marshal for the district of Arizona. It took time for the guards to free themselves, Assistant Chief Deputy US Marshal Van Bayless said. By the time they called law enforcement, six to eight hours had passed, he said. The couple allegedly had help After the couple tied up the …

Couple who rescued California boat fire survivors recalls seeing vessel in flames

(CNN)Bob and Shirley Hansen were on a fishing trip when they woke up around 3 a.m. Monday to the sound of someone beating on the side of their boat. The Hansens were able to rescue the five crew members who made their way to their boat. Eight people have been found dead so far, and 26 are missing. Shirley said some of the rescued crew members told them about the moments on the boat before the fire. One said that a 17-year-old girl on the Conception was celebrating her birthday with her parents, she said. “It was such a hopeless, helpless feeling to watch that boat burn and know there were only five people at our boat and there was …

Odd couple: Miniature horse and farm goose need a forever home together

(CNN)It’s a surprising interspecies friendship. Waffles is recovering from an infection. This has made Hemingway extra protective of his friend, honking and flapping his wings when shelter staff come to take care of the pair. “When we go to give, have medicines or injections, Hemingway would get in between and say, ‘I’m sorry that’s my buddy the horse. He doesn’t want a shot today,’” Linda Reider with the Bucks County SPCA told CNN affiliate WFMZ. Hemingway is sassy and his companion Waffles is described as peppery. They are a package deal for any potential adopters. “If you want to adopt Waffles, you have to adopt Hemingway. And if you want to adopt Hemingway, you have to adopt Waffles,” Reider said. …

A couple facing murder charges overpowered two guards and escaped, police say

(CNN)A husband and wife who are accused of killing a 72-year-old man overpowered two security officers and escaped Monday night in Blanding, Utah, police said. On May 1, a felony arrest warrant was issued for Blane and Susan Barksdale on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree burglary, arson of an occupied structure, felony criminal damage and theft, police said. But the Barksdales had fled the state, sparking a nationwide search. They were located in New York and arrested without incident, Tucson Police said on May 24. Police said their direction of travel is unknown, but investigators have information that they are possibly traveling through Arizona. They were last seen driving a red GMC Sierra pickup with damage to the front passenger …

Young couple dies in collision leaving their wedding ceremony

(CNN)As a young Texas couple were leaving the courthouse for their wedding ceremony, their car collided with a pickup truck, killing both of them, according to CNN affiliate KFDM. “That’s an image that will haunt me the rest of my life. I won’t forget it. It will never go away. I will see that truck hit my baby and kill my baby every night of my life, the rest of the time that I’m on earth.” The driver of the truck was not injured. Kennia Morgan told the station that the high school sweethearts were excited to start their lives together. Though they had their ceremony at the courthouse, they were planning a Christmas wedding on December 20 for their …

Unsealed documents show allegations against Jeffrey Epstein and his inner circle

New York (CNN)Hundreds of pages of court documents unsealed Friday in New York federal court allege new details of sexual abuse claims against multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein and several associates. The documents unsealed Friday were produced as a result of a lawsuit Giuffre filed against Maxwell, nearly two decades after her alleged abuse. They include new allegations by Giuffre that she was instructed by Maxwell to have sex with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former US Sen. George Mitchell, among others. In a statement Friday, Mitchell called the claim false, adding: “I have never met, spoken with or had any contact with Ms. Giuffre.” A spokeswoman for Richardson called Giuffre’s allegation “completely false.” “To be clear, in Governor Richardson’s …

A slain couple, a mystery corpse and two missing teens stoke fears in Canada

(CNN)Canadian police said they are open to the possibility that a young couple’s slaying is connected to the case of two missing Canadian teens in the same region of British Columbia. Nevertheless, the RCMP revealed more details from the case of the missing teens on Monday, along with new information in the couple’s death. Here’s what we know about the two cases so far: Authorities try to find teens and identify corpse The RCMP is searching for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, after their car was found burning on the side of Highway 37 on Friday. While investigating the fire, police discovered the body of a man more than a mile away, the RCMP said in a statement. …

‘Doomsday prepper’ couple is accused of abusing two victims on their farm for years

(CNN)A Florida couple is accused of physically and sexually abusing two victims on their farm for years, police said. During a search of the property, officers recovered large quantities of food rations and survivalist items, WTXL reported. Detectives also found dozens of “high quality firearms and manycases of ammunition,” the sheriff’s office said. The victims told police they were used as farm laborers and began each day at 5:30 a.m. They had been trained to raise pigs and sheep, grow various fruits and vegetables, utilize a loom and sew. “The females reported they were not allowed to go anywhere, couldn’t have friends, couldn’t have cell phones, nor talk to people in public places. They stated they were not allowed to …