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Prosecution Rests in Boston Marathon Bombing Trial

FBI(BOSTON) -- The government on Monday rested its case against accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev after teary-eyed jurors heard grueling, heartbreaking testimony about the bombing's youngest victim, 8-year-old Martin Richard.

Richard was 4 ft. 5 in. tall and just under 70 lbs. when he was killed in the Boston Marathon attacks on April 15, 2013, Chief Medical Examiner Henry Nields testified. The entire length of his small body was blasted with small nails, tiny pieces of black plastic, round metal pellets, small fragments of wood, segments of black plastic, and metal pieces of the bomb allegedly detonated by Tsarnaev in front of the Forum restaurant, Nields said.

Jurors saw the damage done to his clothing: a charred long-sleeve Boston Celtics jersey, its sleeves tattered, large holes throughout and stained stiff with blood. Under that, Richard wore a short-sleeve New England Patriots t-shirt, which was ripped apart and bloody. Nields said he recovered a shred of metal under that shirt -- lodged there as it exited his body. His black hooded jacket was stained and ripped.

Nields could not determine whether he was wearing pants or shorts because the fabric had completely melted.

Along with the clothing held up in court was a belt, which had been used as a tourniquet around Richard’s left arm, and his Nike sneakers.

Richard’s small intestine was eviscerated, part of his liver and pancreas were cut off. He suffered a "near complete transection of the abdominal aorta,” Nields testified. In addition, “he had shredding on his left adrenal gland.” He had third degree burns on his body, which was ruined with debris packed into the pressure cooker bomb.

Six small nails were pulled from his body. Jurors saw a photo of those terrorist tools, along with evidence of the cloth, Styrofoam, plastic and other items removed during the autopsy.

Was the child’s death painful? “Yes,” Dr. Nields testified.

If any juror tried to block out what they were listening to, it became impossible when they were forced to look at the autopsy photos. At least six female jurors cried during the testimony and two male jurors had shocked looks on their face. Other jurors simply glanced down at their monitors where the images were published then quickly looked away.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev rested his face on his left fist and looked down for most of the testimony.

On the other side of court, Bill Richard, Martin's father, sat holding his wife with his eyes closed.

In a still image from just before the blasts, Martin Richard is seen standing on a metal barrier watching the race. Prosecutors say Tsarnaev can be seen in the same image, just feet away, dropping a backpack containing the explosives.

Earlier in the trial, Bill Richard took the stand and described what he saw after the blasts.

“I saw a little boy who had his body severely damaged by an explosion,” Bill Richard told the jury flatly. “I just knew from what I saw there was no chance.”

In addition to Martin Richard, two other people -- 29-year-old Krystle Campbell and 23-year-old Lingzi Lu -- were killed in the attack and some 260 others injured.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to 30 counts related to the bombing. His defense has admitted to his role in it, however, and has argued he only took part because he was under the influence of his older brother and alleged co-conspirator Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a police shootout three days after the blasts.


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Hotel Partying Preceded Deadly Shooting At NSA Gate, Sources Say

@TPratt_Capital/Twitter(FORT MEADE, Md.) -- One man is dead and another severely injured after gunfire erupted Monday at one of the main gates of the National Security Agency located at Fort Meade, Maryland.

The injured man was identified as Kevin Fleming, 20, of Baltimore, according to law enforcement sources. Fleming and another man were in a stolen Ford Escape SUV when they encountered NSA police at the entrance to the Ft. Meade complex, sources said.

Shortly before 9 a.m. ET, a vehicle with two people inside "attempted an unauthorized entry at a National Security Agency gate," according to a statement from the NSA.

"The driver failed to obey an NSA Police officer's routine instructions for safely exiting the secure campus," the statement continued. "The vehicle failed to stop and barriers were deployed."

Sources say the two inside were men dressed as women. Preliminary information indicated the two men were partying at an area hotel with a third individual when they took that individual's car without permission. However, it's still unclear how or why they ended up at the NSA gate.

The owner of the SUV picked up two men dressed as women in Baltimore late Sunday, sources confirmed. The three allegedly drove to a hotel in Howard County, Maryland, where they partied, sources said. Early this morning, the man woke up alone and the two men he allegedly had picked up were gone and so was his vehicle, sources said. The man reported his vehicle stolen to Howard County Police before the incident at the NSA, sources said.

A law enforcement source confirmed that the car that crashed at NSA was reported stolen in Howard County, Maryland.

When the vehicle "accelerated toward an NSA police car blocking the road" and "refused to stop," an NSA police officer opened fire, and one of the two men inside the "unauthorized vehicle" ended up dead, the NSA statement said. The other man in the vehicle was "severely injured” and taken to a local hospital, according to sources.

An NSA Police officer injured in the incident was also taken to the hospital.

“The incident has been contained and is under investigation,” Colonel Brian Foley, Fort Meade garrison commander, said in a statement. “The residents, service members and civilian employees on the installation are safe. We continue to remain vigilant at all of our access control points."

The FBI said they do not believe the incident is related to terrorism.


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Missing Minnesota Sorority Sister Went Into River From Bridge, Cops Say

Minneapolis Police Department(MINNEAPOLIS) -- Police searching for a missing University of Minnesota student said they have found video showing the young woman going into the Mississippi River from a bridge.

Jennifer Houle, 22, was last seen Friday at a bar in the Dinkytown area of Minneapolis between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., the Minneapolis Police Department said.

The video shows her alone on the 10th Avenue Bridge on Friday morning and then going into the river, Minneapolis Police Department spokesman John Elder said.

The Hennepin County Sheriff's Office has been asked to help the MPD with a water recovery effort, and no suspects are being sought, he said.

"We extend our deepest condolences to the Houle family and all of Jennifer's many friends," the MPD said in a statement. "The Minneapolis Police Department and the family of Jennifer Houle wish to thank the many people who provided support, assistance, and information since Jennifer's disappearance. The Houle family has requested privacy at this difficult time."

Friends said they thought Houle left the bar to walk home. Police said they found her purse and her phone in the middle of the street near her apartment building, just an hour and a half after she was last seen at the bar.

Houle is a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, and her chapter posted on Facebook Saturday: "We need all the help we can get to find this warm-hearted, beautiful person."

"She's an amazing sister and friend to all of us," said Madeline Eddy. "She's very involved."

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Pennsylvania Man Killed by Falling Headstone While Decorating Grave for Easter

YourNikonMan/iStock/Thinkstock(THROOP, Pa.) -- A Pennsylvania man was killed Monday morning after the gravestone he was decorating for Easter fell on top of him.

Stephen Woytack, 74, was hanging a cross on his mother-in-law’s headstone at the Saint Joseph's Cemetery in Throop, Pennsylvania, when the stone fell on him, according to a report by ABC News affiliate WNEP-TV.

The cemetery’s caretaker, Ed Kubilus, told the television station that Woytack’s wife came to him looking for help.

“She came running up, ‘Help me, the stone fell on Stephen!'” Kubilus said.

Kubilus added that it’s not uncommon for gravestones to shift, as warmer temperatures thaw the ground in spring.

“I’ve come over and saw six stones fall from the winter. Winter, and the ground gets soft and the stones fall over and you have somebody come and pick them up,” Kubilus told WNEP-TV.

Local police told WNEP-TV they believe the incident was a “horrible” accident.

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Aaron Hernandez's Fiancee Cites Infidelity, Describes Moving Mystery Box

ABC News(FALL RIVER, Mass.) -- Aaron Hernandez's fiancée, Shayanna Jenkins, told the jury at his murder trial in Fall River, Massachusetts, Monday that Hernandez instructed her to remove a mystery box from their home -- a home they continued to share, she added, despite her suspicions he had been unfaithful to her.

Hernandez told her to "go downstairs in our storage and remove a box from our home" on the afternoon after Odin Lloyd was killed, Jenkins testified, and she described how she disposed of it, ultimately dumping it in a "random dumpster."

Hernandez, 25, is on trial for Lloyd's murder and has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors believe the box may have contained the murder weapon, which has never been found, or other evidence.

Jenkins, 25, cried on the stand during talk of Hernandez's possible infidelity. She said she saw suspicious phone messages and stayed at a location away from their home for a few weeks.

Ultimately, she added, the couple decided to work through their problems and continue the relationship. Jenkins said her definition of infidelity includes sexual intercourse, and she wasn't sure that happened.

Hernandez, a former New England Patriots football player, is accused of orchestrating Lloyd's slaying June 17, 2013. Prosecutors say Hernandez and two other men picked up Lloyd from his house and brought him to an industrial park near the Patriots' Gillette Stadium.

Surveillance video played for the jury Monday showed Jenkins going into the basement. Video previously played for the jury showed Jenkins removing a garbage bag from their home with what appeared to be a box inside.

"Did he indicate what was in the box?" prosecutor Patrick Bomberg asked Jenkins on Monday.

"No," she answered. She added, "His tone, I believe, was normal," but she recalled him saying moving the box was "important."

Jenkins said the box was not sealed, and contained smaller boxes with cardboard on top of them. She said she put the box "in a trash bag" with her baby daughter's clothing "so nothing was exposed."

"I wasn't necessarily hiding it," she said. "It was just natural instinct."

Jenkins said Hernandez did not talk about the contents of the box and she did not ask.

Later, under cross-examination by Hernandez's lawyer, Jenkins said the box had a "skunky smell," and she suspected it might contain marijuana.

Jenkins estimated that the bag with the box in it weighed about 35 or 40 pounds. Surveillance video played in court showed Jenkins putting the bag in the trunk of a car and driving away. She testified she disposed of the box in a trash bin, but doesn't recall where.

"I found a random dumpster," she said.

She added she was nervous about "everything going on."

Jenkins was granted immunity in February.

Jenkins and Hernandez were high school sweethearts and have a 2-year-old daughter together.

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Missing Calif. College Soccer Player Found Dead

KABC-TV(LOS ANGELES) -- A missing California college student has been found dead, the victim of a traffic accident, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

The University of California-Berkeley student, Eloi Vasquez, 19, was visiting friends at the University of Southern California when he was last heard from early Saturday morning.

"Earlier today the Los Angeles Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit learned that the California Highway Patrol conducted an investigation of a tragic traffic collision that took place on the Eastbound 10 Freeway on Saturday, March 28th around 2:25 a.m. During the investigation, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office confirmed that the pedestrian struck on the freeway was unfortunately our Missing Person, Mr. Eloi Vasquez," LAPD said in a statement.

Vasquez, who played on his school's soccer team, went to a party at the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity with friends but told them that he wanted to go for a walk at around 1:30 a.m., ABC News station KABC-TV reports.

According to KABC-TV, he was last heard from less than an hour later, when he reportedly called a friend saying that he was at the beach and having trouble.

"He is a star athlete, a responsible student, and we are a tight-knit family," his mother Wendy Margolin earlier told ABC News. "This is not normal behavior."

Friends tried to call him later Saturday morning and his phone was either dead or had been turned off.

The family doubled their reward offering to $100,000 on Monday in hopes that it would lead to his discovery.

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NASCAR Investigating Whether Race Teams Tampered with Tires

File photo. John Harrelson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- NASCAR officials are investigating whether race teams tampered with tires using a technique called “bleeding” to gain an improper advantage.

Officials seized tires from eight teams following the last two races, including tires from Kurt Busch and Joey Logano.

“Bleeding” involves poking miniscule holes in the tires to slowly release air, improving tire durability and helping drivers get an ideal grip on the track. NASCAR officials confiscated the wheels of Logano and Kevin Harvick two weeks ago, and those tires did not show evidence of “bleeding.”

NASCAR is still awaiting results from the latest eight tests. ABC News attempted to contact all of the crews involved in the investigation, but those efforts were unsuccessful. If caught cheating, drivers could face as much as a $125,000 fine and a six-race suspension.

Some drivers, including Denny Hamlin, say those penalties don’t go far enough.

“If it’s out there and they know about it, you should be gone forever,” Hamlin said. “If they find [impropriety] multiple times with somebody, they should have a permanent vacation somewhere.”

NASCAR officials told ABC News that the tire inspections are frequently performed and not unusual, but normally these measures don’t receive such widespread attention. Jeff Gordon is concerned by the recent investigations.

“I've heard a lot of things with valve caps and poking holes in tires for years. But I've never seen it done. I've never had proof that it was done,” Gordon said. "So it's very interesting to me that NASCAR is investigating this further."


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Yawning, Whistling Might Get You Flagged at Airport Security

Creatas/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Excessive yawning, whistling and too much laughter could possibly find you detained by airport security agents for further questioning, according to a recently released list.

The SPOT Referral Report, which stands for "Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques," was obtained a week ago by The Intercept, which claims the unclassified report is a "closely held" Transportation Security Administration (TSA) document detailing what Behavior Detection Officers look for when observing suspicious travelers and possible terrorists at the nation's airports.

Actions appearing on the 92-point checklist featured on The Intercept were divided into categories such as "stress factors," "fear factors" and "signs of deception," and ranged from "appears to be in disguise" and "face pale from recent shaving of beard" to "excessive yawning," "excessive throat clearing" and "gazing down."

TSA would neither confirm or deny to ABC News whether the specific indicators listed in the leaked report are used by officials or other parts of the administration. But a spokesperson did acknowledge that it does use behavior detection and analysis.

"Behavior detection, which is just one element of the TSA's efforts to mitigate threats against the traveling public, is vital to TSA’s layered approach to deter, detect and disrupt individuals who pose a threat to aviation," said a TSA spokesperson.

Detractors of the SPOT practice contend that many of the behaviors listed on the report are no different from how regular travelers appear when passing through airport security.

Meanwhile, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) recently sued the TSA for not releasing SPOT documents, saying the program encourages racial-profiling.

“What we know about SPOT suggests it wastes taxpayer money, leads to racial profiling, and should be scrapped,” Hugh Handeyside, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project, said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “The TSA has insisted on keeping documents about SPOT secret, but the agency can’t hide the fact that there’s no evidence the program works. The discriminatory racial profiling that SPOT has apparently led to only reinforces that the public needs to know more about how this program is used and with what consequences for Americans’ rights.”

But the TSA defended its program in a statement to ABC News.

“Terrorists have used a variety of items and ways to attempt to inflict harm to aircraft -- everything from shoes to liquids -- but consistent across all methods of attack is the malicious intent of the actor," said a TSA spokesperson. "Looking for suspicious behavior is a common sense approach used by law enforcement and security personnel across the country and the world, that focuses on those behavioral indicators, rather than items, and when used in combination with other security layers helps mitigate a variety of threats."

But normal individuals with "strong body odor," "trembling hands," "protruding neck arteries" or exhibiting other factors noted on the report shouldn't have cause for immediate worry, cautioned the administration.

"No single behavior alone will cause a traveler to be referred to additional screening or will result in a call to a law enforcement officer," the TSA spokesperson said, adding, "Officers are trained and audited to ensure referrals for additional screening are based only on observable behaviors and not race or ethnicity.”

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Caught on Video: California Firefighter Falls Through Roof of Burning Home

iStock/Thinkstock(FRESNO, Calif.) -- A 25-year firefighting veteran is in critical condition after falling Sunday through the roof of a California home consumed by fire.

The firefighter, who has not been named, was responding to a fire that broke out around 1:30 p.m. in the garage of a Fresno, California, home.

The heart-stopping moment the firefighter fell was captured on camera by an eyewitness, Sooji Lee.

“I honestly didn’t think he was going to make it,” Lee told ABC News affiliate KFSN.

The victim’s fellow firefighters tore down the garage door and rescued him within minutes, according to KFSN.

"I believe his burns were on his hands, around his face," Fresno Fire Chief Kerri Donis told reporters. "He did have his mask intact. There were some other burns on his back, around his legs, so they're pretty much in all areas of his body."

The firefighter was rushed to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery, officials said. He is now in critical condition.

No one else was injured in the fire. Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

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Disappearance of California Woman Wasn't a Joke, Lawyers Say

Courtesy Mike Huskins(VALLEJO, Calif.) -- Lawyers for a California woman and her boyfriend are steadfast that the woman’s disappearance wasn’t a joke, despite police saying the kidnapping was orchestrated and never happened.

“This is no hoax,” said Doug Rappaport, the attorney for 29-year-old Denise Huskins. “This is not a laughing matter.”

Huskins turned up unharmed Wednesday, two days after she was supposedly taken for an $8,500 ransom.

Vallejo Police Lt. Kenny Park expressed disappointment in the situation. “The fact that we wasted all these resources for essentially nothing is really upsetting,” he said.

Daniel Russo, an attorney for Aaron Quinn, the woman’s boyfriend, told ABC News that there’s plenty of evidence that the kidnappers were real -- and still on the loose.

“These people, they’re really motivated,” Russo said.

The evidence includes manifesto-type emails sent both to the San Francisco Chronicle and Quinn’s attorney -- allegedly from the kidnappers -- as well as an audio recording believed to be Huskins.

Russo, who declined to go into specifics, said the evidence proves the couple isn’t lying. He added that there’s good reason why his client waited 10 hours before calling for help: Quinn was tied up and drugged, Russo said.

“If he is accurate about the group of people that did this to him, then they’re on the loose,” Russo said.

Police have questioned both Quinn and Huskins. At this point, law enforcement and the FBI both remain tight-lipped about the investigation.

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JetBlue System Outage Leads to Long Lines, Delays

iStock Editorial/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A nationwide system outage was reported by JetBlue Monday morning, with long lines and delays reported at several airports as passengers were manually checked in.

No flight cancellations have been reported.

Representatives with the budget airline addressed the situation on social media, individually responding to concerned passengers.

“We apologize. The cause of the systemwide outage has been (resolved). We should have you on your way shortly,” the company wrote on Twitter.


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Eight Dead, 10 Injured After Van Crashes into Florida Canal

iStock/Thinkstock(MOORE HAVEN, Fla.) — At least eight people died and 10 others were injured after the van they were riding in crashed into a Florida canal, authorities said.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the accident happened at 12:31 a.m. Monday at State Road 78 and U.S. Highway 27 in Moore Haven, Glades County, in the southern part of the state. The van was traveling eastbound on State Road 78 when it passed through a stop sign and traveled across U.S. Highway 27, crashing into the partially-filled canal, according to a statement released by Public Affairs Division Lieutenant Gregory S. Bueno.

The van was carrying 18 people. The driver was killed in the crash, according to the statement.

Authorities expect to release more details about the accident as information emerges.


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Minnesota Sorority Sister's Disappearance Triggers Desperate Search

Minneapolis Police Departmen(MINNEAPOLIS) — A University of Minnesota student called "an amazing sister and friend" seems to have disappeared with out a trace.

Jennifer Houle was last seen Friday at a bar in the Dinkytown area of Minneapolis between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., the Minneapolis Police Department said.

Friends said they think Houle, 22, left the bar to walk home. Police said they found her purse and her phone in the middle of the street near her apartment building, just an hour and a half after she was last seen at the bar.

Houle is a member of the Pi Beta Phi sorority, and her chapter posted on Facebook Saturday: "We need all the help we can get to find this warm-hearted, beautiful person."

"She's an amazing sister and friend to all of us," said Madeline Eddy. "She's very involved."

Police said they have been interviewing witnesses, including an ex-boyfriend, and are scanning surveilance videos from the area looking for any clues to what happened.

According to police, Houle stands at 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds. She has long, blond hair and was last seen wearing a black leather jacket, green blouse, black leggings and black boots, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police.

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Second Body Recovered from New York City Building Collapse Site

FDNY(NEW YORK) --  A second body was found Sunday at the site of a New York City building explosion and collapse, a city official told ABC News, shortly after New York City Police Department said the searchers looking for two people believed to be missing found a first body.

Identification of the body was pending, said the NYPD. The explosion, which happened Thursday afternoon, left 22 people injured and two missing, city officials have said.

Some containers of debris from the site have been taken to a "secure" undisclosed location for additional examination if necessary -- either to look for more evidence or remains, a city official directly involved in the operation said Sunday.

A total of 730 cubic yards of debris has been sifted twice on-site at this point, and put into containers and removed, the official said.

Operations are continuing at the site in the East Village section of the city, and there could be an update on developments Sunday evening, the official said.

Cleanup of the site was scheduled to take up to a week, but looks like it could be done by Tuesday, given the current weather and pace of operations, the official said.

Searchers have encountered sections of debris that are still smoldering -- "hot spots" -- and they've had to be extinguished, according to the official.

They are hoping to get at least partial access to the restaurant area of the building today, although the above-ground pile of debris will not be cleared Sunday, the official said.

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Coney Island Roller Coaster Gets Stuck on Opening Day

Shawn Waite/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Some Coney Island visitors in New York City had a scarier roller coaster ride than they expected Sunday when the Cyclone at Luna Park got stuck, stranding passengers high in the air.

The coaster stalled as it was going up, the New York Police Department said. Passengers were then evacuated safely, according to a Luna Park official.

No injuries were reported according to the NYPD and Luna Park. Ten to 12 people were on the ride at the time, Luna Park said.

Sunday was Luna Park's opening day of the season. The Cyclone got stuck on its second ride, according to Angie Morris, brand manager for Luna Park.

 



"Safety is the number one priority for our guests at Luna Park. This was an isolated issue and it is quickly being resolved," Morris said in a statement.

The ride will reopen "after proper inspection," the statement added.

 

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