May 30, 2013
(AP) — A Chicago man has been charged with killing a 6-month-old girl whose death earlier this year brought attention to gang violence on the city's South Side, prosecutors announced Monday.
Koman Willis, 34, is accused of killing the baby, who was shot on March 11 while sitting in her father’s lap in a minivan. Police say the baby’s father, Jonathan Watkins, was the intended target of the attack.
Willis is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm, said Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for the Cook County State’s Attorney's Office. A bond hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
Watkins, who has a lengthy criminal record, was seriously wounded in the shooting.
Chicago police devoted large numbers of resources to finding a suspect in the shooting, which happened in the middle of the day in the city’s Woodlawn neighborhood.
In March, police Superintendent Garry McCarthy had said Watkins was cooperating with the investigation but that there was “a lot more” help he could provide.
At the girl’s funeral, several people lamented the “code of silence” that keeps some residents from reporting crimes, cooperating with authorities or even fingering members of rival gangs who have targeted them.
Religious leaders speaking at the funeral service implored those in attendance to transform gang-riven neighborhoods.
The shooting came just weeks after a 15-year-old honors student was gunned down on a South Side street in an apparent case of mistaken identity.
City News Service
The coroner's office today released the name of an 11-year-old boy stabbed to death in a family dispute inside a Westlake District apartment. He was Jai Shaun Lewis, coroner's Lt. Joe Bale said. The boy's accused attacker, his 26-year-old stepfather, who was also injured, remained under guard at County USC Medical Center, awaiting a doctor's clearance to be released from the hospital and booked on charges in connection with the boy's death, said Sgt. Melvin Gamble of the Los Angeles Police Department's Rampart Station.
The homicide took place inside a Westlake District apartment at 227 S. Carondelet St. and was reported just before 9 a.m. Monday, said LAPD Sgt. Michael Mabie of the Rampart Station.
``An 11-year-old boy has died from his stab wounds and we have his attacker, a 26-year-old man, in custody now,'' Mabie said.
LAPD spokeswoman Norma Eisenman told City News Service the suspect is the boy's stepfather. Eisenman said she did not know what triggered the violence between the man and the boy. Neighbors told reporters that they heard an argument, and then screams from the boy's mother from the upper floor of the two-story building, in a densely populated neighborhood northwest of MacArthur Park. The boy was in cardiac arrest when he was transported from the scene by paramedics and died at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. His stepfather was injured in the struggle with the boy and taken to County USC for treatment, according to Mabie and Eisenman. His name was not expected to be released until he is booked.
May 23, 2013
A Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy pleaded not guilty this week to assaulting an inmate in the back of a patrol car, a charge brought nearly two years after the alleged incident occurred. Matthew John Funicello, 31, is accused of hitting Dewayne Wright, who was then 19, several times with his fist on July 22, 2011. Wright was being moved from the sheriff's Palmdale station to the Twin Towers Correctional Facility downtown at the time. Funicello was booked at the Crescenta Valley Station in April, when the felony charge of assault under color of authority was filed, and released on $35,000 bail.
He appeared today in a dark pin-striped suit rather than his uniform.
“Every deputy charged with a felony is relieved of duty without pay” pending the outcome of their case, said defense attorney Vicki Podberesky, when asked about her client’s employment status. Funicello is due back in court June 19, when a date is scheduled to be set for a preliminary hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence for him to proceed to trial. If convicted, he faces up to three years behind bars, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Special to the NNPA from The Michigan Chronicle
Retired postal worker Melvyn Wilson is probably one of the luckiest men on earth, because on Wednesday, he picked up his fourth winning lottery check, and this time, it was for a whopping $500,000, reports The Washington Times.
The Woodbridge, Va., resident, who has won more than $2 million, first hit the lotto jackpot back in 2004, when a scratch card fetched him $25,000.
Just one year later, Wilson struck it rich, yet again!
Two more lottery scratch cards resulted in Wilson receiving a $1 million win on one and a $500,000 prize on the other.
Two years after his last lotto windfall, Wilson decided to call it quits at the post office.
Now nearly eight years since his last big win, Wilson remains cool as a cucumber and almost appears unfazed by the excitement that a fourth win should generate. Wilson told lottery officials as he claimed his check for $500,000, “‘I’m just in the right place at the right time.”
The 72-year-old retiree admits that he is “in it to win it’ and plans on continuing to play the lottery. Wilson believes he has a chance at winning Thursday’s Powerball, which is now at a jackpot of $360 million.
The record high for a jackpot is $656 million.
By BARBARA ORTUTAY
NEW YORK (AP) — Microsoft is the last of the three big video game console makers to unveil its latest gaming system. The unveiling comes nearly eight years after the Xbox 360 went on sale. It follows last fall's debut of Nintendo’s Wii U and a preview in February of the upcoming PlayStation 4 from Sony.
Each machine has a set of features designed to draw gamers away from rival consoles. There's one thing all three have in common, though: They are about more than gaming and include entertainment services such as television, movies and music.
Here’s a closer look at the three systems. More details are expected at the E3 video game conference in Los Angeles next month.
• Wii U (Nintendo)
The Japanese gaming company launched the Wii U, the follow-up to its popular Wii, in November, making it the only new console out for last year’s holiday season. The console features a tablet-like controller with a touch screen, called the GamePad, which can be used to control games on the TV set or to play games separately, as you would on a regular tablet computer. It also allows someone with a GamePad to have a different experience with a game than someone playing it at the same time with a regular Wii controller.
The GamePad also serves as a fancy remote controller to navigate a TV-watching feature called TVii. The service groups your favorite shows and sports teams together, whether it's on live TV or an Internet video service such as Hulu Plus. And it offers water-cooler moments you can chat about on social media.
Unlike the Wii, the Wii U features high-definition graphics. In doing so, Nintendo’s system catches up to the years-old Xbox 360 from Microsoft and the PlayStation 3 from Sony.
Sales of the Wii U have been disappointing, with 3.5 million sold as of March 31, the end of Nintendo's fiscal year. Nintendo Co. had originally expected to sell 5.5 million units and later lowered the forecast to 4 million, but it still fell short.
Price: Starts at $300 but some retailers have offered it at lower prices.
• PlayStation 4 (Sony)
Sony shared some details about the PlayStation 4 in February, but it didn't show what the console would look like. The company said the PS4 would essentially be a “supercharged PC,” much like the Xbox. That’s a big departure from the old and idiosyncratic PlayStation design and should make it easier for developers to create games.
But the adoption of PC chips also means that the new console won’t be able to play games created for any of the three previous PlayStations. Players will have to stream older games over the Internet.
Other new features revolve around social networking and remote access. With one button, you can broadcast video of your game play so friends elsewhere can watch. You can also run a game on the PS4 to stream over the Internet to Sony’s mobile gaming device, the PlayStation Vita, which debuted last year.
The PlayStation online network will have access to Sony’s video and music services, as well as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon — as long as you have subscriptions to those services. You’ll also be able to access Facebook.
The PS4 will have a Blu-ray disc drive for movies, just like the PS3. The console will go on sale this holiday season, though Sony Corp. has not disclosed an exact date.
Price: Not yet announced.
• Xbox One (Microsoft)
Microsoft's new console seeks to deliver the Holy Grail of home entertainment — an all-in-one device that lets you watch television, play movies, listen to music and browse the Internet as well as play video games.
The Xbox One lets you use voice commands to switch between watching TV and playing “Call of Duty,” or ask “What’s on HBO?” to view a TV channel guide. Simply connect your cable or satellite set-top box to the game machine with an HDMI cable.
A new version of Microsoft’s camera-based Kinect controller offers better motion and voice detection than the one currently available. Unlike the Xbox 360, the Xbox One will require Kinect, which will come with the package.
Microsoft also reached a multiyear deal with the National Football League to develop new interactive viewing experiences, such as the ability to watch games, chat with other fans, view statistics, access highlights in real time and gather fantasy information about players and teams — all on a single screen.
Although Nintendo’s Wii was the most popular of the three at first, the Xbox 360 has outsold its rivals in recent years largely because of its robust online service, Xbox Live, which allows people to play games with others online for as much as $60 a year with annual plans. Activision’s “Call of Duty,” has been a driving force behind Xbox Live, and Microsoft said players will be able to download new content for upcoming titles in the series on the Xbox One before any other system.
The new console will also add the ability to play Blu-ray discs, matching what Sony has in its older PlayStation 3. What it won't play are games for the Xbox 360.
Microsoft said the system will launch this year, but it did not give a date during Tuesday’s unveiling.
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