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Police: Man arrested on 15th DWI charge

A man in New Mexico who state police claim has 14 DWI convictions was arrested just before Christmas on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

Levi Manuelito, 57, was arrested on Dec. 22 after police responded to reports of a car driving erratically on a highway near Shiprock, KRQE reported. Police found the vehicle at a gas station. Manuelito, who police said had his pants unbuckled and unzipped, exited and slipped into another car, the Albuquerque Journal reported. The car's passengers said Manuelito was the driver, according to the police report.

>> Read more trending news 

Manuelito refused to perform sobriety tests or a Breathalyzer test,  police said, so a blood draw was taken after police obtained a court order, the Journal reported. He will remain in jail until his trial, police said.

A stricter state law passed in 2016 may mean a longer sentence for Manuelito, if he's convicted on the new DWI charge. Before then, the maximum prison sentence for DWI was three years. Now, for repeat DWI offenders with 8 or more convictions, there's a minimum 12-year sentence, 10 years of which must be served, the Journal reported.

Manuelito has been in prison, on parole, on probation or absconding since 2000, according to State Department of Corrections records reviewed by the Journal.

Investigators: 2 arrested after drugs, $245,000 found in camper

An Ohio man and an Oregon woman were arrested Friday night after officials raided a house and recovered drugs and $245,000 police said.

>> Read more trending news

Police raided the house in Sidney, Ohio, after a search warrant was issued, 

Arrested were Leon Francis, 60, of Sidney; and Sarah Jones, 31, of Oregon. 

Police said marijuana, hash, THC and approximately $245,000 were found in a camper on the property.

The camper and a truck were seized and are believed to be a part of a large drug trafficking trade that spanned multiple states, investigators said.

Sidney Police Department, Piqua Police Department, and the Ohio State Patrol issued a search warrant after months of investigative and undercover work, according to Captain J A Tangeman of the Sidney Police Department.

Francis was charged with one count of drug abuse. Jones, of Oregon, was charged with one count of drug trafficking.

Police: Man who died from opioid OD paid dealer's light bill for drugs

Travis Tekel would fix computers, hack credit cards, pay bills — anything for some heroin caps and a stick of Xanax. The 28-year-old Florida resident was a computer genius with an opioid addiction and the brains to fuel it.

>> Read more trending news

Like an increasing number of addicts, Tekel died June 1 of a carfentanil overdose just hours after he’d paid a woman’s electric bill in exchange for what he likely thought was heroin.

Unlike most opioid victims, though, Tekel’s death led to his dealer’s arrest on manslaughter, fraud and drug-related charges.

Shalonda Lashay Golden, 27, was booked early Friday into the Palm Beach County Jail after a months-long Sheriff’s Office’s investigation into the texts, phone calls and surveillance footage that they say pin Golden as the one who delivered the fatal drugs to Tekel at a Delray Beach-area home.

Golden is being held in the county jail on a $104,000 bond.

Tekel, a dark-haired southern New York native, was introduced to opioids after a back injury, according to his mother Carol Hadges. She’d stay up with her son in the Boynton Beach home they shared as he shook with pain from an aching back and a growing addiction.

He eventually took up heroin and overdosed four times in the three years before his death. Hadges needed more than Narcan to save her son.

“I could scream and yell at him all I wanted but it wouldn’t have done anything,” Hadges said in an interview Friday. “It was a lifetime of help he needed.”

Tekel suffered from bipolar disorder and only took medication intermittently. “He thought he could take care of it on his own,” Hadges remarked.

He couldn’t. On at least two occasions violent outbursts landed him in jail, court records show. The most recent case brought him to a Delray-area rehabilitation center, his parents said. But he was kicked out, and a week later he was dead.

Records indicate Golden showed up in a white Honda Accord late June 1 to the parking lot of Tekel’s home. By midnight, he was dead from a fatal dose of carfentanil, fentanyl’s powerful cousin, the medical examiner determined.

Twelve hours later, Golden sent Tekel’s roommate a text. The roommate mentioned Tekel hadn’t been around.

“I hope ain’t nothing happen to him,” she reportedly texted. “He ain’t take too much of it did he?”

She said she’d sold Tekel heroin and Xanax and swore she didn’t cut it with anything.

“Whoever I bought the stuff from last time he was bad business. I don’t know where I can even get no cut from,” she texted. “I go to the people and I’m giving it to you guys how I buy it. That’s all I do.”

Tekel met Golden through her incarcerated boyfriend, Tekel’s former drug dealer, records show. Golden’s boyfriend is not being named because he does not face charges in Tekel’s death. Authorities reviewed dozens of recorded jailhouse calls between Golden and her boyfriend. They repeatedly discussed Tekel, records state, and once Golden’s boyfriend even called to thank Tekel for taking care of Golden’s bills.

The morning of June 1, Golden told her boyfriend that Tekel paid the light bill in exchange for drugs.

Two days after Tekel’s death, authorities pulled over Golden in the same Accord that video reportedly captured her driving the night of Tekel’s death. She had an invalid driver’s license, records indicate, and her car smelled of marijuana. Sheriff’s authorities searched her car and found a pawn slip with credit card information on it. She told them Tekel, a friend who she said was “enamored with her,” had filled it out.

Detectives’ numerous interviews with Golden’s other clients indicate her boyfriend passed his buyers on to her when he was locked up in March. Jail records indicate he last was released from jail in early November.

Despite hundreds of overdose deaths each year in the county, rarely anyone faces criminal charges for those deaths. However, the 30-year federal prison sentence handed down to Lake Worth drug dealer Christopher Massena in the overdose death of Christian “Ty” Hernandez showed a crackdown on dealers.

“Drug dealers know about this case and they are watching,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Nucci before the sentencing. “You must sentence him harshly to let them know.”

According to the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office, 552 people lost their lives inside the county’s borders to drug overdoses in 2016 — a 106 percent leap from 2015, when 268 people overdosed and died. In 2014, there were 167 fatal overdoses.

The final numbers for 2017 won’t be available until, at least, the first quarter of 2018, but the county’s medical examiner predicts a 5 to 10 percent jump in overdose deaths.

Tekel’s father, Larry Tekel, keeps a photo of his son as the background of his cellphone. When Detective James Evans called Friday morning to tell the father about Golden’s arrest, Tekel glanced at his son’s picture and smiled:

“We got ’em, Travis.”

Roy Moore accuser Leigh Corfman files defamation lawsuit

A woman who told reporters she was 14 years old when former U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore touched her sexually filed a defamation lawsuit against him Thursday, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

Leigh Corfman, 53, told The Washington Post in November that Moore touched her inappropriately in 1979, while he was an assistant district attorney in Etowah County, Alabama. Moore denied the allegation and several others from women who said they were inappropriately approached by Moore while they were teenagers.

The allegations kicked of fa scandal that turned the tide of the race to fill the Senate seat left vacant when President Donald Trump chose then-Sen. Jeff Sessions to serve as his attorney general. Moore lost the race last month by a narrow margin to Democrat Doug Jones.

>> Related: Roy Moore loses Senate bid as election board certifies Doug Jones as winner

In a lawsuit filed Thursday in Montgomery County Circuit Court and obtained by AL.com, Corfman accused Moore of defaming her “repeatedly and in all forms of media, calling her a liar and questioning her motivation for publicly disclosing that Mr. Moore sexually abused her in 1979 when she was a 14-year-old high school freshmen and he was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney.”

Brett Doster, a representative of Moore’s Senate campaign, told the Post, “We look forward to transparently discussing these matters in a court of law.”

>> Related: Four women accuse Senate candidate Roy Moore of inappropriate sexual contact when they were teens

Corfman told the newspaper in a statement that the lawsuit aims “to do what I could not do as a 14-year-old – hold Mr. Moore and those who enable him accountable.” Her attorney, Neil Roman, told the Post that Corfman is asking for a public apology from Moore and a ban to bar him or his campaign from publicly attacking her again.

The suit laid out nearly a dozen instances in which Moore denied knowing Corfman or touching her inappropriately, AL.com reported.

"Mr. Moore's denials of these facts are false and his characterizations of Ms. Corfman and her motivations are untrue,” the lawsuit said. ”Mr. Moore knew or should have known that Ms. Corfman's account is truthful because he was the perpetrator in the events she described. At a minimum, Mr. Moore was reckless in making these statements."

FBI investigating Clinton Foundation

The Justice Department has renewed its investigation into allegations of corruption levied against the Clinton Foundation, the charity of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

FBI agents in Little Rock, Arkansas, where the foundation was launched, are leading the investigation, The Hill reported Thursday. At least one witness has been interviewed in recent weeks, according to the news site.

The probe is focused on whether Hillary Clinton or her husband exchanged policy favors for donations to the foundation, The Hill reported. Unidentified officials told the news site that agents might also examine “whether any tax-exempt assets were converted for personal or political use and whether the foundation complied with applicable tax laws.”

A federal investigation into the allegations was closed in 2016 due to a lack of evidence, The New York Times reported.

It was not immediately clear what prompted the renewed investigation, although a representative of the foundation implied in a statement to CNN that it was likely politically motivated.

"Time after time, the Clinton Foundation has been subjected to politically motivated allegations, and time after time, these allegations have been proven false," Craig Minassian said in the statement. "The Clinton Foundation has demonstrably improved the lives of millions of people across America and around the world while earning top ratings from charity watchdog groups in the process. There are real issues in our society needing attention that the Clinton Foundation works hard to solve every day. So we're going to stay focused on what really matters."

In a statement to The Hill, the former secretary of state’s chief spokesman Nick Merrill echoed Minassian.

“Let’s call this what it is: a sham,” Merrill told The Hill. “This is a philanthropy that does life-changing work, which Republicans have tried to turn into a political football. It began with a now long-debunked project spearheaded by Steve Bannon during the presidential campaign. It continues with Jeff Sessions doing Trump’s bidding by heeding his calls to meddle with a department that is supposed to function independently."

President Donald Trump has multiple times called for further investigations into Hillary Clinton, who he ran against in the 2016 presidential election.

Man accused of sexually assaulting sleeping woman on Spirit Airlines flight

Authorities arrested an Indian national after a 22-year-old woman told investigators that she woke up on a flight from Las Vegas to Detroit on Wednesday to find the man’s hand shoved down her pants and her clothing mussed, according to multiple reports.

The victim said she sat in a window seat next to Prabhu Ramamoorthy, 34, on a Spirit Airlines flight Wednesday, The Washington Post reported. On Ramamoorthy’s other side sat his wife, according to the newspaper.

>> Read more trending news

When the victim awoke, she found “a hand in her pants and noticed that her pants and shirt were unbuttoned,” authorities said in a federal complaint obtained by the Detroit Free Press. She told authorities that the man seated next to her had his “fingers in her (genitals) and (was) vigorously moving them.”

He stopped when she awoke, according to the complaint.

Flight attendants told investigators that the victim was crying when she reported the alleged assault around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, while the flight was still in the air, according to the Post.

Ramamoorthy told investigators that he took a pill and was in a deep sleep when the alleged assault occurred, but he later told an FBI agent that he “might have” undone the woman’s bra and cupped her clothed breast, according to the Free Press.

“He also indicated that he unzipped her pants part-way, and did put his finger into her pants,” authorities said in the complaint. “He stated that he tried to put his finger in her vagina but was not successful.”

Both Ramamoorthy and his wife later told authorities that the pill Ramamoorthy took was “plain Tylenol,” the Post reported.

Authorities arrested Ramamoorthy on one count of aggravated sexual abuse, The Detroit News reported. He was ordered held without bond at a hearing Thursday after prosecutors argued that he was a flight risk since he isn’t a U.S. citizen, according to the newspaper.

“What makes this offense particularly egregious and the defendant even more of a danger to the community is the fact that it took place on an airplane,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Jawad said, according to the Post. “He was brazen enough to do this basically in public, next to his wife where anyone could have seen him.”

Richard O’Neill, Ramamoorthy’s attorney, said his client has worked as a project manager in the Detroit metropolitan area for more than two years, the News reported.

“I have a hard time with some of these allegations, but that’s what a trial is for,” O’Neill said, according to the News. “There have been no allegations from anywhere that his behavior has ever been inappropriate prior to this incident.”

New Year's baby born on freeway after South Carolina police chase

A South Carolina father watched his baby girl’s birth while he was in handcuffs.

>> Watch the news report here

WCIV-TV reports Carl Alewine’s fiancee’s water broke early on New Year’s morning and he was racing down Interstate 26 near Charleston to get her to the hospital.

>> On WSOCTV.com: South Carolina woman slips out of handcuffs, hijacks cruiser, deputies say

The car was traveling at more than 90 miles per hour when several law enforcement officers started chasing Alewine.

He just kept going until officers eventually boxed him in and forced him to pull over.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news 

They had Alewine in handcuffs when his little girl, Anastasia, came out with one push.

>> On WSOCTV.com: New section in North Carolina DMV handbook explains what to do when pulled over

"I'm sitting there, watching her born on the hood of the car, fireworks going off in the background, because it's 1 in the morning on New Year's and then they let me out of handcuffs and all the cops started clapping and congratulating us," Alewine recalled.

>> Read more trending news 

The baby was born healthy, even though the mother went through a high-risk pregnancy. 

The family said they're thankful for the first responders' help. 

Woman charged with homicide by child abuse in 3-year-old girl's death

Lancaster, South Carolina, police have made an arrest in connection with the death of a 3-year-old girl.

Kayla Cook is charged with homicide by child abuse in Lillian Schroeder's death on Heath Circle. Cook was arrested in Cleveland County.

>> On WSOCTV.com: Police investigate death of 3-year-old girl in Lancaster

Officers were called to the home in December in response to a call for an unconscious child. Police said they found the child unresponsive on her back in the living room with no pulse or signs of respiration.

The arrest warrant said Cook was caring for the little girl while the victim's father was at work.

Cook said she put the victim in the bath and when she came back to check on her, Lillian was lying face up in the tub, unresponsive but looking around and breathing, according to the arrest warrant.

>> Read more trending news 

The warrant said Cook initially told police the child “wasn’t acting right” and she wanted a neighbor to call 911.

The document said the 3-year-old had numerous bruises on her body. The autopsy report showed Lillian died from cerebral edema due to a blunt-force trauma to her head and that the victim died within minutes of the head injury. 

Couple, 2 young children found dead of probable carbon monoxide poisoning

An Arizona couple and their two young children were found dead Monday in what authorities said was a case of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Anthony and Megan Capitano, both 32, Lincoln Capitano, 4, and Kingsli Capitano, 3, were found during a welfare check performed after family members were unable to reach them for several days. Officials with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office said that the family from El Mirage was staying in a cabin belonging to a family friend in Parks, which is located west of Flagstaff in the Coconino National Forest.

A deputy sent to check on the family found their vehicle parked outside the cabin and, when he approached the home, smelled a strong odor of gas coming from inside, Sheriff’s Office officials said. Additional deputies were called in, as were firefighters from the Ponderosa Fire Department. 

Firefighters wearing self-contained breathing equipment went inside and found the family dead, fire officials reported. Anthony Capitano’s older son, Ashton, was home with his mother in Texas when his father, stepmother and siblings died. 

Sheriff’s Office investigators called in a heating and cooling provider to investigate the gas heating system in the cabin. 

“The contractor found a significant failure in the heating system which would be consistent with carbon monoxide overcoming the residence,” investigators said in a statement. “The heating unit was the only gas appliance in the home. This provides additional evidence regarding a possible carbon monoxide-related event.”

The Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office was still working to confirm the manner and cause of death, investigators said. 

Jon Paxton, a spokesman with the Sheriff’s Office, told KPNX-TV in Phoenix that the family drove up to the cabin late Friday evening. Investigators believe the gas leak killed them early the following morning. 

Friends of the couple told the news station that the family had stayed at the cabin several times before. One friend, Rhonda Alsobrook, said that she and Megan Capitano texted back and forth multiple times just hours before the family likely died. 

“I sent her this snap, ‘I love you more,’” Rhonda Alsobrook said. “I won this conversation because I said, ‘I love you more,’ and I was the last one to say, ‘I love you more.’”

Alsobrook, a professional photographer, told the news station that she was up late Friday night and into Saturday morning, finishing up the Capitano family’s Christmas photos, which were taken about two weeks before their deaths. 

She said she didn’t hear from Megan Capitano again. Days later, she received the devastating news.

“I got a phone call from her sister,” Alsobrook said. “She called me and told me, and it didn’t really set in.”

Alsobrook said she believes the family went to sleep, unaware of the danger they were in, and never woke up. 

Carbon monoxide is a particularly potent danger in the winter, when cold temperatures have people turning on their heat to stay warm. Though the gas is odorless, it is sometimes possible to smell a leak from a propane gas furnace, Ponderosa Fire Chief Lee Antonides told KPNX

“It depends on how strong the smell is, how rich, and when the furnace was last serviced,” the fire chief said. “Sometimes you can smell it, and sometimes you can’t.”

Antonides said anyone with gas heat should have a certified heating contractor inspect their home’s system before using it each winter. He said a yearly inspection is also important in rental properties. 

“It’s important, if you’re renting a place you’re not familiar with, to ask when the last time the furnace was inspected,” Antonides told the news station. “Ask if there’s a carbon monoxide detector in the house and, if there is, make sure it functions.”

>> Read more trending news

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 400 people die of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning each year. Another 20,000 people visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 of those people are hospitalized. 

Symptoms of carbon dioxide poisoning, which are often described as “flu-like,” include headaches, dizziness, weakness, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. The CDC said on the agency’s website that people who are asleep or have been drinking can die from poisoning before any symptoms appear. 

Homeowners who have gas heating systems or other gas appliances should install battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors, or electric detectors with battery backup, the CDC said. Detectors should be placed where residents can hear them if they go off at night, and the batteries should be replaced at least twice a year.

Carbon monoxide detectors should be replaced every five years. 

Gas heating systems, along with gas, coal or oil burning appliances, should be serviced annually, the CDC said. Chimneys, which can become blocked by debris, should also be serviced each year. 

Portable gas heaters and other gas-burning items like generators, should never be used indoors. Generators also should not be used within 20 feet of windows, doors or vents. 

Click here for more safety tips from the CDC.

Friends of the Capitanos expressed shock and grief on social media.

“This is so hard to process,” Dan Matock wrote on Facebook. “My friend and his family will be sorely missed. I love you, Tony Capitano, Megan Capitano, Lincoln and Kingsli.”

Christle McGinnis described the family as “beautiful, caring souls.”  

A man named Marty Gallo wrote that he was devastated by the deaths. 

“My heart breaks that I wished I spent more time with you and your family,” Gallo wrote. “Tony Capitano and Megan Capitano were above and beyond the greatest souls to be around. Unwavering good in them, and it showed in their two beautiful young humans, Lincoln and Kingsli.”

Another friend, Anthony Martinez, described Tony Capitano as an incredible person.

“Hug your loved ones,” Martinez wrote. “You never know when it’s your time. RIP.”

Paul Manafort sues special counsel Robert Mueller, DOJ

Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, filed suit Wednesday against special counsel Robert Mueller, Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the Department of Justice after he was indicted in October as part of the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

>> Read more trending news

Attorneys for Manafort argued that Rosenstein overstepped his authority in May 2017 when he appointed Mueller as special counsel to investigate "links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump" and "any matters that arose or may arise directly from" that investigation.

The scope of the investigation is overly broad, Manafort’s attorneys argued, asking a judge to set aside both the October indictment and Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller.

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