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Judge denies Jerry Sandusky's request for new sex abuse trial

A Pennsylvania judge has denied former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky’s request for a new trial.

>> Read more trending news

Judge John Foradora issued the order and an opinion on Sandusky's Post Conviction Relief Act appeal Wednesday afternoon.

Sandusky argued that he did not receive adequate representation by his lawyers during the trial and that prosecutors failed to turn over information about victims' changing stories.

>> See the latest on WPXI.com

The 73-year-old Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year state prison sentence after being convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of abuse involving 10 boys, including attacks that occurred on campus property.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

19-year-old arrested after 6-year-old Washington boy found in dumpster

The body of a 6-year-old boy with autism was found in a dumpster at his Lynnwood apartment building on Tuesday. The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office reports his 19-year-old relative admitted to drowning him in a bathtub, putting him in a box and then throwing him in a dumpster.

>> Read more trending news

Dayvid Pakko's disappearance 

The boy, Dayvid Pakko, was reported missing at about 5 p.m. Monday.

Crews, including 100 volunteers, searched the area of 44th Avenue West between 156th Street and State Route 99, just outside the Lynnwood city limits.

According to the sheriff’s office and relatives, Dayvid stayed home sick from school Monday.

The boy lived with his mother, who was at work when he disappeared. He was last seen at about 2:30 p.m. The sheriff's office said Dayvid was under adult supervision while he was at home, but did not say who he was with.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said there was evidence that Dayvid was a victim of homicide.

The 'tragic ending to a long search operation' 

Authorities said the body was found in a dumpster at the Bristol Square Apartment complex on 44th Avenue West at about 2 a.m. Tuesday.

"It's a tragic ending to a long search operation," said sheriff's office spokeswoman Shari Ireton.

>> Related: Body of missing 6-year-old boy found in dumpster

The body was found by officers with the violent offender task force. In cases of missing children, the officers, who represent several law enforcement agencies, are deployed to check on registered sex offenders in the area.

Detectives processed the crime scene for hours on Tuesday. Once a search warrant is obtained, detectives will go through the apartment building and dumpster for evidence.

Arrest of 19-year-old relative 

A 19-year-old man visiting family in Lynnwood from Kerrville, Texas, was arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree murder in connection to Dayvid’s death.

KIRO7.com found that a man named Andrew Henckel was booked into Snohomish County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder. Henckel shares the same last name as the victim's mother, and he was visiting from Texas.

According to the sheriff's office, the 19-year-old admitted to filling a bathtub with water with the intention of drowning Dayvid. He called the boy to the bathroom, picked him up and placed him face down in the water, according to authorities.

The 19-year-old reportedly held the boy's head underneath water for approximately 30 seconds before Dayvid became still. He was left face down in the water for nearly six minutes, according to authorities. The 19-year-old wrapped the boy's body in a blanket and placed him in a cardboard box, which he used to dispose of the body in the nearest garbage dumpster.

The Snohomish County medical examiner will determine the boy's cause of death.

Community holds vigil 

By Tuesday evening, dozens of people had dropped off candles, balloons, notes and flowers at a memorial for Dayvid outside Bristol Square Apartments. Samantha Burden's 8-year-old son Kaedyn was friends with the victim. 

"We used to wrestle and play," Kaedyn said. 

Burden said the kids often played together on the playground. 

"Just thinking about what (Dayvid) went through, it's just disgusting," she said. 

Phillip Edwards, a friend of the Pakko family, describes the child as an energetic, sweet boy. 

"He loved Legos, he was brilliant. Smart as a whip," Edwards says, "I don't understand why a person could go through such lengths with such a small child."

Gabriela Moore, a postal worker, lives nearby and watched helicopters fly over the apartment complex Monday, when investigators thought Dayvid was missing. Investigators said the child was mildly autistic.

"It's not your child but it hits home," Moore says, "There's no words. There really is no words."

Creekside Church also held a vigil for Dayvid at the Mountlake Terrace campus Tuesday evening.

Off-duty Uber driver kidnapped woman, touched her inappropriately, police say

An off-duty Uber driver is accused of kidnapping a passenger in Pennsylvania.

>> Watch the news report here

The woman was standing at Seventh and Penn Avenue in downtown Pittsburgh on Saturday night, waiting for an Uber she had requested.

A car pulled up with an Uber sticker on it so she got in, but not with the driver she was expecting.

Police in West View say Soumana Dao picked her up even though he wasn't on-duty and wasn't her assigned Uber driver.

>> Read more trending news 

Dao started driving north on Interstate 279 toward his home on Center Avenue in West View, according to police, not toward hers in the South Hills.

Police say he also started touching her inappropriately.

A neighbor heard the woman in distress and stepped in to help her, according to police.

A representative for Uber told WPXI that Dao is a driver but wasn't on a trip that night and has since been removed from the app.

The ride-sharing company also advises paying attention to who is picking you up and what car they'll be in.

911 call: Mom accused in sons' oven deaths says, 'I don't want to get locked up'

In newly released 911 audio, the Atlanta mother accused of killing two young boys tells a dispatcher she isn’t to blame in their deaths and is frightened she could go to jail.

>> Father of slain toddlers says mother shared live video of crime scene

Lamora Williams faces two counts of murder in connection with the deaths of her 1- and 2-year-old boys. The mother of four allegedly killed them “by placing them in an oven and turning it on,” according to an arrest warrant. 

>> Warrant alleges mother put 2 toddlers in oven, turned it on

“Ma’am, I have a question,” Williams begins after the 911 call was answered about 11:30 p.m. Friday.

More than two minutes and 20 seconds pass before she tells the dispatcher where she is located.

>> Mother accused of killing toddler sons has history of mental illness, family says

She repeats several times that she was at work and had left her three sons with a cousin, who left them all alone at the Oakland City West End apartment on Howell Place.

“This is so serious; I’m so scared,” Williams, 24, tells the dispatcher. “I don’t want to get locked up because I was at work.”

>> 2 children found dead in Atlanta apartment; mother charged

The dispatcher tries to calm Williams and promises to send help, but Williams repeats herself.

“This is not my fault; I just came home from work,” she says.

As soon as the address is revealed, the dispatcher calls police and fire.

Williams thanks them and the line goes dead.

>> On AJC.com: Funeral home donates services for boys allegedly killed in oven

When officials arrived, Ja’Karter and Ke’Younte were dead. 

Police say they do not believe the children's mother left them with a caregiver, as she had said.

The mother of four allegedly killed them “by placing them in an oven and turning it on,” according to an arrest warrant. 

>> Read more trending news

Williams was charged and booked into the Fulton County jail, where she remains without bond.

The boys’ father also called 911.

“I just received a call from my child’s mother that my … two of my … two dead babies; my sons are dead in an apartment,” Jameel Penn tells 911. 

“She video called me and I seen it,” Penn says. “I really think they are dead.”

325-pound Florida woman accused of killing child by sitting on her

A Florida woman is accused of killing her 9-year-old cousin after the woman sat on the child as a form of punishment. 

The 325-pound woman, identified as 64-year-old Veronica Green Posey, was charged with homicide and cruelty toward a child, the Pensacola News Journal reported.

>> Read more trending news 

Posey sat on the girl, Dericka Lindsay, Saturday after she said the girl misbehaved, said a report by the Escambia County Sheriff's Office.

According to the Pensacola News Journal, Dericka’s parents, Grace Joan Smith and James Edmund Smith, sought Posey’s help Saturday in punishing the child.

Posey, who said that Dericka was “out of control,” first struck the girl with a ruler and a metal pipe before Dericka ran to an armchair, authorities said.

Posey sat on top of Dericka in the chair for about 10 minutes before the girl complained that she could not breathe, the girl’s father told police. When Posey stood up about two minutes later, she discovered the child unresponsive. Posey called 911 and began performing CPR.

Paramedics who responded to the call found Dericka unresponsive and transported her to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead, the News Journal reported.

Grace and James Smith were arrested and charged with child neglect for not reporting the alleged abuse. Grace Smith was also charged with cruelty toward a child. 

According to the Florida Department of Children and Families, the Smiths had previously had an incident with the agency involving their daughter’s welfare.

Posey, whose bail was set at $125,000, was released from jail Monday. Her aunt and uncle remained in jail.

See more at the Pensacola News Journal.

‘God made me do it’: Man calls 911 to report stabbing, suffocating 18-month-old 

A New Orleans man was arrested Tuesday morning after he called 911 to report that he had killed his 18-month-old daughter because “God made him do it.”

Mark Hambrick, 45, was taken into custody outside his home in the Bywater neighborhood. New Orleans police Superintendent Michael Harrison told reporters during a morning news conference at the scene that Hambrick was waiting for officers when they responded to his call. 

Hambrick told dispatchers in the call, which came in around 7 a.m., that he had stabbed his daughter and then, “to put the child out of its misery,” suffocated her, Harrison said during the news conference, recorded and shared by NOLA.com. He gave them a description of himself and the toddler and told them where he and the child would be when officers arrived. 

Officers who responded to the scene handcuffed Hambrick and went into the house, where they found the child lying dead on a bed. She had multiple stab wounds.

Harrison said an autopsy will determine if the baby was also suffocated. The knife used in the slaying was found near the girl’s body. 

Dispatchers who questioned Hambrick asked why he killed the baby, Harrison said.

“He gave us some details, but simply put, he told us over the phone that God made him do it,” the police superintendent said. 

Investigators are looking at the man’s background to determine if mental illness or alcohol or drug abuse may have played a part in the slaying. When asked about it on the phone, Hambrick denied having a history of mental illness.  

Hambrick’s wife, the mother of the child, was at work when the slaying took place, Harrison said. The woman, who the superintendent said “has now lost a baby and now has lost a husband,” has been in touch with detectives. 

“This is certainly a gruesome scene. It’s extremely tragic,” Harrison said. 

>> Read more trending news

The toddler’s death is the second time a father has been accused of killing his small child in Louisiana since the weekend. 

Fabian Miguel Smith, 33, of Zachary, was charged Saturday with first-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile in the death of his 11-month-old son, Jericho Smith, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate. Zachary police Chief David McDavid said during a Sunday news conference that the baby suffered stab wounds to his forehead and had signs of blunt force trauma to the back of his head. 

East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. Beau Clark confirmed during the infant’s autopsy that he also suffered multiple gunshot wounds, the Advocate reported

Smith is accused of locking the baby’s older siblings, ages 9 and 5, out of the house as he killed the boy. When the children went back in the house, they found their brother unresponsive.

The children ran for help at a neighbor’s home. When the neighbor went to check on Jericho, he found the infant lying on the floor in a pool of blood, McDavid said. 

Smith reportedly told the neighbor, “Call 911, I done messed up.”

Jericho’s mother, Iesha Tolbert, told reporters on Monday that her son was a happy baby who seldom cried. 

His favorite word was “Dada,” Tolbert said

Tolbert, who was working when her son died, said she is trying to wrap her mind around what happened. When she received word that Jericho was dead, she said she assumed he had died in an accident. 

She never imagined that Smith would have killed their son.

“The hardest part is knowing it was his own dad that took his life,” Tolbert told reporters, according to the Advocate. “Not only did I lose my baby, I also lost my husband at the same time.”

Court records showed that Smith does not have a record of violent crime, the Advocate reported. Tolbert’s mother, Theresa Tolbert, told reporters that he was never violent.

“He was a loving parent, a great provider,” Theresa Tolbert said of her son-in-law. 

Woman accused of slapping boyfriend with pack of bacon

A North Carolina woman is accused of slapping her boyfriend in the face with an uncooked pack of bacon during an argument over the weekend, according to multiple reports.

>> Read more trending news

A 38-year-old man told police that he was arguing with his 33-year-old girlfriend on Sunday when she hit him with the bacon, WRAL reported, citing a police report. The attack happened at their shared apartment in Goldsboro, according to WTVD.

It was not clear what led to the argument.

Goldsboro police told WRAL that the victim declined to press charges.

Philando Castile fundraiser nets over $72,000, eliminates students’ lunch debt

Philando Castile is still ensuring that the students he served in Saint Paul, Minnesota, are eating a good lunch, despite his death last year at the hands of a police officer.

Castile’s mother, Valerie Castile, visited J.J. Hill Montessori Magnet School on Friday to help deliver a special gift -- a check for $10,000 to pay off the lunch debt for the school’s students. The money was part of more than $72,000 raised by a project designed to honor the beloved nutrition supervisor, who was known to pay for students’ lunch out of his own pocket if they had no money. 

The remaining $62,000 raised in his name will go toward eliminating the lunch debt of students throughout Saint Paul Public Schools, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis reported. The funds raised so far are enough to pay off students’ debt for a year. 

Philando Castile was shot to death July 6, 2016, after he was pulled over by St. Anthony police Officer Jeronimo Yanez and a colleague in nearby Falcon Heights. The immediate aftermath of the shooting was live-streamed on Facebook by Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, who was also in the car, as was Reynolds’ 4-year-old daughter. 

Yanez, who pulled the trigger, was charged with manslaughter in Castile’s death, but was acquitted in June. The shooting and the officer’s acquittal touched off protests across the country. 

>> Read more trending news

The fundraising project, called Philando Feeds the Children, was started by Pamela Fergus, a professor at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, as a project for her diversity and ethics class. 

“Philando was ‘Mr. Phil’ to the students at J.J. Hill. He supervised their food program and interacted with the kids every day,” the fundraising page at YouCaring.com reads. “He knew their names and their diets. He loved his job!”

The page states that Castile’s death affected all the children who knew and loved him. 

“This fund hopes to provide the kids with a lasting connection to Mr. Phil,” it states.

The Star Tribune reported that Fergus set a goal of raising $5,000 for the project. Within the first two weeks, donors gave more than $50,000.

“We just had this little idea that we were going to help do Mr. Phil’s job and make sure you guys have good lunch to eat every day,” Fergus told the children gathered in the lunchroom where Castile worked, according to CBS Minnesota.  

About 70 percent of students in Saint Paul schools qualify for free lunch, the Star Tribune reported. About 2,000 students end up owing the district lunch money at the end of each school year. 

Fergus told the students Friday that the project would continue to raise money so they could “always get a good lunch,” the newspaper said. 

The fundraising website bears out that promise. As of Tuesday morning, the total funds raised had jumped to almost $74,000. 

Valerie Castile said the feedback on the project had been overwhelming and that she was considering involving other school systems across the country.

“No child should go hungry,” she said. “And this project helps keep my son alive.”

The project received praise from a commenter on the fundraising site, who called Philando Castile’s death “senseless.”

“Philando worked at Chelsea Heights Elementary before J.J. Hill,” one woman wrote. “My oldest two boys remember him. I remember him hairnet and all.”

The woman called Castile a “gentle soul.”

“Thank you for giving voice to the importance of his life,” she wrote. 

Body of missing 6-year-old boy found in dumpster

The body of a 6-year-old boy with autism, who was reported missing near Lynnwood, Washington, was found in a dumpster early Tuesday.

The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office said Dayvid Pakko was a victim of a homicide. A 19-year-old man, who is a relative of the boy, has been taken into custody.

>> Read more trending news

Detectives were processing the crime scene Tuesday morning and are expected to be working for several hours

Dayvid was reported missing at about 5 p.m. Monday.

Crews searched for the boy in the area of 44th Avenue West between 156th Street and State Route 99, just outside Lynnwood city limits.

According to the sheriff’s office and relatives, Dayvid stayed home sick from school Monday. He was last seen at about 2:30 p.m.

The sheriff's office said Dayvid was under adult supervision while he was at home, but did not say who he was with.

Dozens of search and rescue personnel, along with civilian volunteers combed the area.

Reward offered in search for man suspected of raping, killing baby

Police in eastern Ohio are looking for a man suspected of raping and killing a baby girl.

According to WFMJ, the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the arrest of Joshua Gurto.

>> Read more trending news

Gurto is accused of raping and killing a 13-month-old girl in Ohio’s Ashtabula County. He is wanted by the U.S. Marshals Service and the Conneaut Police Department on aggravated murder and rape charges, WFMJ reported.

The child, identified by authorities as Sereniti Jazzlynn-Sky Blankenship-Sutley, died Oct. 7, according to WJW. Citing the Ashtabula County Coroner’s Office, the news station reported that she suffered blunt force trauma to her head and trunk.

Investigators told WJW that Gurto is the boyfriend of the baby’s mother. He has not been seen since shortly after Sereniti’s death, when police in Conneaut released him from custody, WKYC reported.

“He was very cooperative through the whole initial process,” Conneaut police Det. Mike Sullivan told the news station. “We opted to release him. There were no charges to keep him at the time.”

Charges were filed against Gurto last week.

“She was a precious girl,” Sereniti’s mother, Kelsie Blankenship, told WKYC. “She brought me a reason to live.”

In an obituary, family members remembered Sereniti as a “loveable little girl who brought a smile to your face.”

“Her personality was bright and her smile was contagious,” the obituary said. “Although her time here was short, the lasting memories she brought to her family will forever be treasured.”

Police said Gurto has ties to western Pennsylvania.

He is described as:

  • 37 years old
  • 5 feet, 10 inches tall
  • 145 pounds
  • Deformed right ear
  • Misaligned jaw
  • Tattoos on right forearm

Anyone with information on Gurto’s whereabouts is asked to call the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 866-4WANTED or text keyword WANTED and the information to 84711.

Tipsters can remain anonymous.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

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