CNN – US

30 injured after floor collapses at apartment clubhouse in Clemson

30 injured after floor collapses at apartment clubhouse in Clemson

(CNN) - Thirty people were injured when the floor of an apartment clubhouse collapsed during a party in Clemson, South Carolina, the city's police department said.A large portion of floor collapse ... Continue Reading
Powerball and Mega Millions combined jackpot hits $2 billion after there were no winners Saturday

Powerball and Mega Millions combined jackpot hits $2 billion after there were no winners Saturday

(CNN) - It's not too late to jump on the lottery train -- there's more than $2 billion up for grabs this week.After nobody won Saturday's Powerball top prize, the potential jackpot has swelled to ... Continue Reading
Manhunt is underway for man accused of killing Atlanta-area police officer

Manhunt is underway for man accused of killing Atlanta-area police officer

(CNN) - Police in Georgia are searching for a man suspected of killing a police officer who was answering a call about a suspicious vehicle near a middle school, authorities said. Tafahree Maynard ... Continue Reading
LA Dodgers down Milwaukee Brewers; Dodgers head to World Series

LA Dodgers down Milwaukee Brewers; Dodgers head to World Series

(CNN) - The Los Angeles Dodgers will play in the World Series for the second year in a row after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 5-1 Saturday night in the seventh and deciding game of the National Le ... Continue Reading
Video shows Florida officer hitting 14-year-old twice during arrest

Video shows Florida officer hitting 14-year-old twice during arrest

(CNN) - A viral video of a police officer hitting a 14-year-old girl during an arrest has caused outrage in a Florida community. The video -- posted to Instagram on Friday -- shows a girl being he ... Continue Reading
URGENT - LA Dodgers down Milwaukee Brewers; Dodgers head to World Series

URGENT - LA Dodgers down Milwaukee Brewers; Dodgers head to World Series

(CNN) -- It'll be the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, after the Dodgers dispatched the Milwaukee Brewers, 5-1, Saturday night to clinch the National League Championship. Earlier, Boston won the American League Championship by knocking off the defending World Series champion Houston Astros. The World Series opens Tuesday in Boston.
Atlanta-area police officer shot and killed during suspicious vehicle check

Atlanta-area police officer shot and killed during suspicious vehicle check

(CNN) - A police officer in Gwinnett County, Georgia, was shot and killed while answering a call about a suspicious vehicle on Saturday afternoon, according to a department spokesman.Officer Antwa ... Continue Reading
Death toll from Hurricane Michael rises to 36

Death toll from Hurricane Michael rises to 36

(CNN) - At least 36 people have been confirmed dead as a result of Hurricane Michael, according to authorities. The number rose Saturday after a local medical examiner confirmed the death of a wom ... Continue Reading
Man imprisoned for more than 20 years says new evidence proves he didn't abuse his son

Man imprisoned for more than 20 years says new evidence proves he didn't abuse his son

CLEARWATER, Florida (CNN) - For more than 20 years, James Duncan has insisted he was wrongfully convicted of aggravated child abuse for breaking his infant son's bones in 1993.

Now a Florida judge will decide if there's enough new medical evidence to give him a new trial.

Thursday, Judge Michael Andrews held an evidentiary hearing in Pinellas County, Florida, to evaluate Duncan's case and what his team said is newly discovered evidence that could have resulted in an acquittal at his original trial in 1996.

Duncan, who also goes by Jim, and his wife took their infant son, Kody, to the emergency room in 1993, and doctors discovered he had 13 broken bones and a skull fracture.

Duncan was convicted of child abuse and sentenced to 70 years in prison. He's maintained his innocence in the years since.

Duncan's attorneys are relying on a 2014 study that could suggest Kody's injuries were the result of a metabolic bone disease like rickets, and not the result of child abuse.

"The basis of Mr. Duncan's new evidence claim is this article," defense attorney Lisabeth Fryer said Thursday.

But expert witnesses called by the state cast doubt on the peer-reviewed study, and said its findings were not widely accepted.

The first witness was Duncan's son and the alleged victim, Kody Duncan, who is now in his 20s and coaches tennis at a college in Pennsylvania. He believes his father should go free.

Since the conviction, father and son have seen each other only at one hearing more than a decade ago. Kody has never been allowed to visit his father in prison because he is allegedly the victim of his father's abuse, but they have phone calls once a week.

"I believe my dad is innocent," Kody told the court, before he was cut off by an objection from the prosecution.

Duncan smiled at his son as he left the stand.

Defense: Baby could have had fragile bones

Dr. David Ayoub, one of the authors of the study on which Duncan and his attorneys have based their case, testified for the defense as an expert witness.

According to the article, a type of fracture called a "classic metaphyseal legion," known as CML, that is commonly associated with child abuse has "features similar to infantile rickets."

Ayoub, a diagnostic radiologist, has said he believes Kody had a case of infantile rickets, a disease in which bones do not mineralize properly.

That could mean Kody's bones were very fragile, and that a simple act, like dressing a child or holding them for a vaccine, could result in broken bones.

According to Ayoub, there were shortcomings with earlier studies that identified CML fractures as high indicators of child abuse and argued the injury is actually a sign of a metabolic bone disease, like rickets.

Ayoub acknowledged that these fractures did not guarantee the child had not also been abused, but said these CML breaks were not a sign of it.

"Kody could have had healing infantile rickets, or copper deficiency," Ayoub testified.

"There is no question there is metabolic bone disease," he said. "There is no question."

The defense also called Dr. Marvin Miller, a pediatrician and medical geneticist. He was one of Ayoub's co-authors on the peer-reviewed study, which he said was the first to challenge the widely accepted medical theory that CMLs were "unequivocally" caused by child abuse.

Miller, testifying for the defense by video, told the court he studied Kody's medical records and found the injuries were "highly unlikely to be child abuse."

He pointed to the fact that Kody's medical reports at the time didn't identify any bruising or underlying tissue damage as a sign that the injuries were caused by problems with his bones.

Miller also said that based on psychological profiles done of Duncan, and the fact he had another son who wasn't abused, "My gut feeling is that he's a low risk to commit child abuse."

Theory not widely accepted, experts say

Ayoub and Miller's position is not widely accepted, witnesses called by the state testified.

Mainstream science does not recognize healing rickets as a legitimate cause for CMLs, which are typically associated with child abuse.

In a rebuttal to Ayoub's article, which was not presented in Thursday's hearing, the Child Abuse Committee of the Society for Pediatric Radiology said bone breaks of that type are "highly specific for child abuse."

"To deny this fact is to disregard the extensive experience and research of generations of pediatric radiologists," they wrote.

Expert witnesses called by the state agreed that Ayoub and Miller's study fell outside the mainstream.

"There is a lot of scientific evidence that refutes their positions and opinions," said Dr. Sally Smith, a pediatrician and medical director for the Pinellas County Child Protection Team.

She said Kody's fractures were the result of child abuse, and that most cases of abuse in children Kody's age do not have bruises, and tissue damage doesn't always happen.

Smith said it was possible for babies to get rickets, but it was rare in the United States, because babies get calcium and vitamin D from a variety of nutritious sources.

And if a baby does get rickets, it takes "many months, usually at least six months, before there's any overt signs" of rickets, Smith said. That's several months older than Kody was at the time of his injuries.

Prosecutors also called Dr. Mark Morris, a pediatrician who evaluated Kody in 1993 at All Children's Hospital, and testified against Duncan at his trial.

It was clear to him that Kody did not suffer from a disease like rickets.

"There are specific things you look for in metabolic bone disease that were not seen in this case," he said.

Kody had normal blood chemistry and X-rays, Morris said.

"A lot of different things were thrown out as possible, but there weren't any recognized chemical or radiological signs found in this child."

Morris also told the court that Ayoub's research was not widely accepted.

"There is a small group of people who agree with that, but the widespread opinion is this is not correct analysis of that injury," he told the court.

'I am encouraged'

Now the judge will have to decide whether the evidence Duncan presented could have resulted in an acquittal if it had been available in 1996. If so, the conviction will be overturned and a new trial ordered.

Duncan's family is cautiously optimistic.

"It was mentally draining, physically draining, too, but I am encouraged. I'm going to keep faith in God and hopefully things will go well," Kody told CNN after the hearing.

Duncan did not speak in court, but earlier in a jailhouse interview told CNN he was innocent and did not harm his son.

The judge told lawyers he would provide an update on his progress October 30.

On Saturday, Duncan called CNN from the Pinellas County Jail, where he's being held until the judge makes a decision on the case, which could take weeks. Duncan is nervous, he said, but hopeful.

He was grateful that so many of his family and friends came from around the country to attend Thursday's hearing, packing the moderately sized courtroom.

But he was most struck by his son Kody, whom he hasn't seen since he was a little boy, Duncan said.

"He's such a good looking young man," Duncan said. "I just wanted to hug him."

Remains of fetuses and infants found at second Detroit funeral home

Remains of fetuses and infants found at second Detroit funeral home

(CNN) - Michigan authorities say they've found improperly kept remains of fetuses and infants at a second Detroit funeral home, just one week after similar remains were found at the first.Police a ... Continue Reading
Red tide is spreading in Florida. Hurricane Michael didn't stop it.

Red tide is spreading in Florida. Hurricane Michael didn't stop it.

(CNN) - As the red tide continues to move northward along Florida's east coast, a new breakaway bloom is moving through the Keys.Counties across the state have been dealing with the Karenia brevis ... Continue Reading
Mega Millions jackpot climbs to $1.6 billion. It's now the largest US lottery jackpot ever.

Mega Millions jackpot climbs to $1.6 billion. It's now the largest US lottery jackpot ever.

(CNN) - Good news. There's another chance to become America's newest billionaire.There was no winner in Friday night's Mega Millions drawing and the jackpot is now at least $1.6 billion for Tuesda ... Continue Reading
Florida city official charged with murder after state rejects 'stand your ground' shooting of suspected thief

Florida city official charged with murder after state rejects 'stand your ground' shooting of suspected thief

(CNN) - A city commissioner was arrested nearly three weeks after police say he shot and killed a man who tried to shoplift a small ax from a military store, authorities said.Michael Dunn was char ... Continue Reading
If you win the Mega Millions jackpot, you could be richer than Taylor Swift

If you win the Mega Millions jackpot, you could be richer than Taylor Swift

(CNN) - All week, the climbing Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots have been awakening the frivolous dreamers inside of us. Come on, who can resist entertaining some "what ifs" when the money at stake is over a billion dollars?

To recap, no one's won the big Powerball or Mega Millions payout for a long time, so now the jackpots are sinfully high. The Powerball pot is $470 million, and the top Mega Millions prize is a cool $1.6 billion. That makes it the largest drawing in US lottery history.

Granted, those numbers get pared down a LOT once cash value calculations and good old Uncle Sam get a hold of the winnings. But still, it's an obscene amount of money.

For some context, Taylor Swift's net worth is reportedly around $300 million. If you win the Mega Millions, you could take home $904 million and be almost three times as rich as her with absolutely none of the work. Are you familiar with the Commonwealth of Dominica, a small island country in the West Indies? Their 2017 GDP was $562 million. You could literally be almost twice as rich as an entire country.

Even if you only won the Powerball jackpot and had to settle for the $248 million cash value payout, like a peasant, you could still be worth 0.82 Taylor Swifts and finally afford a comfortable two-bedroom in San Francisco.

The Mega Millions drawing Friday had no winners. The next one is Tuesday while the next Powerball drawing is Saturday.

READ: These are your odds of winning Powerball or Mega Millions.

READ: What not to do when you win the lottery

USA Gymnastics' week to forget shows the newfound power of athletes and the law

USA Gymnastics' week to forget shows the newfound power of athletes and the law

(CNN) - For decades, the people atop USA Gymnastics controlled the dynamics of the sport. They chose the coaches, which young athletes made the national team, where the team practiced and more.But ... Continue Reading
Lioness kills the father of her 3 cubs at Indianapolis Zoo

Lioness kills the father of her 3 cubs at Indianapolis Zoo

(CNN) - A lioness killed the father of her three cubs at the Indianapolis Zoo this week. In a statement Friday, Indianapolis zoo staff said they heard "an unusual amount of roaring" at the lions' ... Continue Reading
A diabetic boy needed money to afford a service dog. His family's pumpkin sale raised the funds

A diabetic boy needed money to afford a service dog. His family's pumpkin sale raised the funds

(CNN) - Six-year-old Ian Christensen's life is full of pinpricks. His morning begins with a blood test to check sugar levels. It's followed with a pump of insulin. "If we don't inject it, he could ... Continue Reading
New clues from 911 call emerge in case of missing Wisconsin girl

New clues from 911 call emerge in case of missing Wisconsin girl

(CNN) - A sheriff's department dispatch log reveals new information about the night that missing Wisconsin teenager Jayme Closs' parents were found dead -- including that a 911 call appeared to have come from her mother's cell phone, and that the door to the family's home had been kicked in.

Authorities have been searching for Jayme Closs, 13, since early Monday, when a mysterious 911 call led deputies to discover that her parents had been shot dead at the family's home in northwestern Wisconsin's Barron County.

Investigators say Jayme apparently vanished just after the shootings and is in danger. An Amber Alert was issued for her Monday, and the FBI has added her to its online list of kidnapped or missing people.

"We believe Jayme was in the home at the time of the homicides and we believe she's still in danger," Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said this week.

The investigation began when someone called 911 shortly before 1 a.m. Monday. No one on the line talked to the dispatcher, but the dispatcher could hear a disturbance, authorities said.

Deputies responded about four minutes later and found Jayme's parents, James Closs, 56, and Denise Closs, 46, shot dead in their home outside the small city of Barron -- and Jayme was nowhere to be found, authorities said.

A city of 3,400, Barron is about 75 miles northeast of Minneapolis.

A dispatch log that the Barron County Sheriff's Department released Friday offers a few new details from that night:

• The dispatcher "could hear a lot of yelling" during the 911 call.

• The call was "pinged" to the Closs' home. When the dispatcher called the number back, a voicemail greeting indicated that the phone belonged to Denise Closs.

• A responding officer found "the door has been kicked in."

• The family dog was there when deputies arrived, and was eventually taken to a relative's home.

The log does not indicate who made the 911 call, who was yelling or what was being yelled.

Closs' parents were shot and their deaths have been ruled homicides, Fitzgerald said Wednesday. No gun was found at the scene, he said.

Investigators believe Jayme was at home during the shooting based on details from the 911 call and evidence from the home, Fitzgerald said.

"Is it a random attack or a targeted attack? I don't know that answer," Fitzgerald told reporters. "That's why those leads are so important."

Volunteers scour the area

Volunteers and law enforcement combed the sides of US 8 -- the road where the Closs' home is located -- on Thursday, looking for evidence. But they didn't turn up anything of value, Fitzgerald said.

Hours earlier, Fitzgerald asked for 100 volunteers to participate in Thursday's search, which took place about 3 miles from the family's home, according to CNN affiliate WCCO.

The Barron County Sherriff's Department has received more than 1,000 tips for missing teenager Jayme Closs, according to a news release on the department's Facebook page. Officials are asking the public to come forward with any information they may have about the Closs family and to remain vigilant in watching the behavior of others, as a change in normal behavior could lead police to additional tips, according to the release.

The sheriff said Thursday he has a "100% expectation that she's alive." He could not be reached for comment Friday.

Motive in parents' death is unclear

Deputies are also trying to determine who killed Jayme's parents, and why.

On HLN's "Crime & Justice" Wednesday night, Fitzgerald told host Ashleigh Banfield that additional agencies, including the FBI, are involved.

"They are the experts in breaking down 911 tapes, looking at our phones and taking care of all evidence in that manner," he said.

Joan Smrekar, who lives next door to the Closs home, told Banfield she heard two shots a couple of seconds apart just after 12:30 a.m. Monday.

"It was just, 'bang' and 'bang,'" Smrekar said.

Jayme Closs is 5 feet tall, weighs 100 pounds and has green eyes and blond or strawberry blond hair, the sheriff's department said. Anyone with information can call the tip line at 1-855-744-3879.

The federal investigation of the Catholic Church: What we know so far

The federal investigation of the Catholic Church: What we know so far

(CNN) - On Thursday we learned that federal prosecutors in Pennsylvania have taken a step long-sought by survivors of clergy sexual abuse: They launched a federal investigation into the Catholic Chur ... Continue Reading
LSU fraternity suspended for 'very serious' violations

LSU fraternity suspended for 'very serious' violations

(CNN) - Louisiana State University has put a fraternity on an "interim suspension" for what it says are violations of its student code of conduct.

LSU spokesman Ernie Ballard did not share the nature of the allegations against the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity chapter, but a statement released by the university said the fraternity is under investigation for "very serious" allegations.

"We cannot go into specific details at this time, but the university will fully investigate the claims," the school's statement said. "If they are substantiated, then appropriate action will be taken."

The alleged violation took place during this fall, according to a letter sent last week to the chapter's president from LSU Associate Dean of Students Jonathan Sanders.

The fraternity chapter did not respond to CNN's effort to contact it. In a statement, Victor Tran, Pi Kappa Phi's national interim assistant executive director of communications, said the fraternity would cooperate with LSU and expected its members to do so as well.

"We have also put our own interim suspension in place as the investigation continues," Tran said in a statement.

Pi Kappa Phi's suspension comes on the heels of anniversary of the death of LSU pledge Maxwell Gruver, who died last September after allegedly being forced to drink alcohol as part of a hazing ritual.

Gruver was pledging the Phi Delta Theta fraternity, which revoked the chapter's charter four days after the incident.

Gruver's parents have filed a $25 million lawsuit against the school, the fraternity and some of its members.

The Pi Kappa Phi fraternity also came under scrutiny at another school last November when 20-year-old Florida State University pledge Andrew Coffey died after a night of heavy drinking at an off-campus party.

Early this year nine men were charged with college hazing causing injury or death, but the charges were later dropped, the Tallahasee Democrat reported.

Playlist

Concert Calendar