“Making A Murderer”: Federal Judge Orders Brendan Dassey’s Release

These are the crime stories making headlines today, November 15, 2016 …

  • A Wisconsin federal judge has ordered the release of Brendan Dassey (above), whose story was featured in the Netflix series Making a Murderer, while prosecutors appeal his overturned 2007 murder conviction. On Monday, U.S. District Judge William Duffin ruled that Dassey be released under the supervision of the US Probation Office. In 2005, Dassey, then 16, confessed to authorities that he assisted his uncle, Steven Avery, in raping and killing photographer Teresa Halbach. Her charred remains were found in November 2005 on Avery family property in Manitowoc County. The Chicago Tribune reports that Dassey must disclose the address of where he plans to live to the court. [Fox 6]

  • A 27-year-old father and 26-year-old mother from Des Moines have been charged with second-degree murder after prosecutors say they neglected and abused their six-month old son, leading to his death in February. Prosecutors allege that Demond Hudson and BJ Silipa noticed the child’s growing, oversized head, but lied to medical staff about seeking treatment for the baby. The couple also reportedly made excuses for the bite marks on their baby. Demond Hudson, Jr.’s, autopsy revealed a skull fracture, 21 broken ribs, and a broken arm, court records indicate. Desmond appears to have been hurt repeatedly over time. [SeattlePI]
18th-century-statue-destroyed-by-selfie-taking-tourist

This statue of Saint Michael at the National Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon, Portugal [Daniel Villafruela/WikiCommons]

  • A tourist trying to snap a selfie has shattered a statue dating back to the early 1700s at the Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon, Portugal. Museum officials say that the statue of Saint Michael has been destroyed beyond repair. The offending tourist reportedly posted a photo of the destroyed statue to Facebook and said, “It’s the price to be paid for free entrances on the first Sunday of every month.” Portugal’s Ministry of Culture said the accident has raised concern about security in the museum. They are still unsure whether the tourist will face charges. [UPI]
  • The number of hate crimes reported to police in the U.S. increased by about 6.7 percent last year, led largely by a 67 percent surge in crimes against Muslims, according to FBI statistics released Monday. Civil-rights groups had been raising concerns about an anti-Muslim backlash in the U.S. even before the terror attacks in France and California and the presidential election. In 2015, there were 257 incidents of anti-Muslim bias compared to 184 incidents the prior year. The total is second only to the surge in hate crimes following the 9/11 terror attacks in 2001. Incidents include one school where students chanted “white power” and a videotaped assault in Chicago that showed black men beating a white man as onlookers screamed, “You voted Trump!”  [CBS News]
  • A 49-year-old ex-con angry about President-elect Donald Trump’s victory slashed four of his relatives with a meat cleaver Saturday in Brooklyn, severing his niece’s thumb. Yvonne Braswell, 67, said the fight began around 8:30 P.M. in her Flatbush apartment when her sons, Maurice and Dwight, argued over why Hillary Clinton was defeated. After the dispute escalated, prosecutors say Maurice hit his brother with a chair. Later, Maurice was hit with assault and weapons charges. [New York Daily News]

      • Three people in the UK have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after a diabetic woman died following a workshop based around slapping as a form of “self-healing. Danielle Carr-Gomm, 71, was found dead in her room on October 20 at Cleeve House in Wiltshire. Wiltshire police are treating Carr-Gomm’s death as suspicious and confirmed the arrest of three people — a 64-year-old woman, a 53-year-old man, and a 51-year-old man. Police say one of those arrested was Hongchi Xiao, a Chinese therapist running the paida lajin retreat. He promotes the controversial therapy as a way of purging toxins from patients by slapping them or getting them to slap themselves. Last year, Hongchi was questioned by police in Australia after the death of a seven-year-old workshop attendee. [The Guardian]

      • Michael Herrick [Photo: Pinellas County Sheriff's Department]

        Michael Herrick [Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department]

        A Florida man has been arrested for domestic battery after hitting his live-in boyfriend with a cup of ramen noodles and throwing water on him, police say.  Michael Herrick, 40, and his boyfriend reportedly got into an argument over alleged infidelity at around 12:30 A.M. on Monday in the couple’s Pinellas Park home. Herrick allegedly threw a cup of water and ramen noodles at his victim’s neck. When police responded, they determined that Herrick was the primary aggressor and arrested him for domestic battery. Herrick was booked into jail on the misdemeanor count, but has been released from custody. [The Smoking Gun]
      • An adult dating and porn company has been hacked in what could be the biggest breach in internet history, a whistleblower said on Monday. The FriendFinder Network was attacked in October, which resulted in email addresses, passwords, dates of last visits, and membership for 412 million users being leaked, according to Leaked Source, which monitors hacking. FriendFinder declined to confirm if it had been hacked but said Monday that the company was investigating the allegations. So far, sources say they do not believe that financial data or Social Security numbers have been compromised. [New York Post]

Main photo: Brendan Dassey [Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Department]