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Ex-West Virginia football star cut by Falcons faces child sex charge

A former college football standout who briefly signed with the Atlanta Falcons was arrested Saturday by police in Columbus, Georgia, for allegedly having sex with a 12-year-old girl, the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported.

Justin Crawford, 23, who played running back at Georgia's Hardaway High School and West Virginia University, faces charges of incest, sodomy and enticing a child for indecent purposes, according to Muscogee County Jail records.

At a preliminary hearing on Monday, Columbus Detective Mark Scruggs said Crawford’s wife, Chakeya, woke up Saturday around 5 a.m. and walked into her living room to find her husband with an erection as he stood over the child, the newspaper reported.

However, she told the Ledger-Enquirer she objected to Scruggs’ account, saying her husband’s penis was exposed but not erect. She said she confronted her husband about it, that he denied any wrongdoing and she decided to go back to bed.

>> Read more news stories 

She took the 12-year-old to the child’s mother later, and that’s when the girl said she had been asleep in the living room when Crawford came in and had her perform oral sex on him before they had intercourse, Scruggs said.

The newspaper reported that Scruggs said Crawford initially denied any sexual contact with the girl to police, but he later admitted to having oral sex and intercourse with her but claimed it was her idea.

Crawford remains in the Muscogee County Jail without bond, according to jail records.

As a senior in high school, Crawford rushed for 825 yards and seven touchdowns, the Ledger-Enquirer reported.

He spent two years at Northwest Mississippi Community College, where he rushed for over 3,000 yards and six touchdowns, putting him in the national spotlight. He then transferred to West Virginia, where he rushed for 2,237 yards and 11 touchdowns over two seasons.

Crawford signed with the Falcons as an undrafted free agent on May 1, but he was among 36 players released in September during the preseason.

He was on the roster for the Atlanta Legends in the new Alliance of American Football league but was suspended by the team after being arrested, according to The Associated Press.

Man stabs dad, hits ex for taking too long at Walmart, police say

A Georgia man is in jail on assault and battery charges after he allegedly stabbed his father and punched his ex-girlfriend in the face, police said.

Jonathan Allen Fain, 25, of Gwinnett County, has been charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery, battery and possession of a firearm or knife during the commission of a felony.

>> On AJC.com: Georgia man accused of taking, posting pictures of sleeping girls in underwear

Fain got his ex-girlfriend to give him a ride to the Walmart on Rockbridge Road the morning of Oct. 11, according to a police report. He began yelling at her that she was taking too long shopping while they were inside, and the yelling continued while she was driving him home, the report said. She told him to get out of the car, but he wouldn’t, so she threw his wallet out the window, according to police. Fain punched the woman in the face and exited the car to get his wallet; the woman took that opportunity to drive away, the report said.

Soon after, Fain arrived at his father’s house in Lilburn. They got into an argument, and at some point, Fain stabbed his father, according to the police report. When an officer arrived around 11 a.m., Fain had fled on foot into some nearby woods, the report said. Fain’s father was lying on the ground with a stab wound to his stomach. The officer found a kitchen knife with its blade missing; the blade had broken off and was still inside Fain’s father, the report said. 

>> Read more trending news 

Shortly after, Fain reportedly returned to the house, entering the basement. Fain surrendered when officers entered the basement and was arrested, the report said.

The father was transported to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, according to the report.

Fain was taken to the Gwinnett County Detention Center, where he is being held without bond. 

4 killed, 1 hurt in shooting at Texas child’s 1st birthday party

A child’s first birthday party turned deadly over the weekend when an argument among family members ended in gunfire that left a man and three of his grandsons dead.

CBS Dallas-Fort Worth reported that the shooting took place in Taft, a city of about 3,000 people 12 miles north of Corpus Christi. The dead were all distant relatives of the child for whom the party was held. 

Sgt. Nathan Brandley, with the Texas Department of Public Safety, said that officers arrived at the residence just after 5 p.m. Saturday to find four men dead: Juan Espinoza Sr., 62, and his grandsons, Juan Sandoval III, 20, Jeremy Sandoval, 22, and Nicky Sandoval, 25. According to the news station, the injured man was Espinoza’s 43-year-old son, Juan Espinoza Jr.

Juan Espinoza Jr. was airlifted to a hospital in Corpus Christi and was expected to survive, the CBS affiliate reported. His sister, Belinda Espinoza, said on Facebook Sunday that he was in critical condition and required surgery. 

CNN reported that all the dead were found in the backyard of the home where the party took place. 

A 20-year-old man, Ronnie Rodriguez Jr., is in custody in the shooting, Brandley told CNN. His father, Ronnie Rodriguez Sr., 37, is at large. 

No charges had been filed against the younger Rodriguez as of Sunday, Brandley said. 

“There (were) a lot of people who witnessed this happen,” Brandley told the CBS affiliate. “(We’re) still interviewing eyewitnesses and everybody that was there at the party, trying to piece all the pieces of the puzzle together.”

Family members did not say what the argument was about, but Brandley told CNN witnesses said it started with “an argument over something real small and it escalated real quickly to where guns were involved.”

It was not clear Monday whether any of the men killed or injured were armed at the time of the shooting. 

>> Read more trending news

Belinda Espinoza, who is raising funds on Facebook to help bury her father and nephews, told CNN that her father was a farmer and family man.

“He did everything he could for us,” Espinoza told the network. “He was happily married to his first and only love, my mother, Eulalia Sandoval.”

She described her brother, Juan Espinoza Jr., as a man who would “give the shirt off his back” for anyone he cared about.

“He always opened his home to anyone,” she said. 

Her nephews were also good men, Espinoza said. Jeremy Sandoval leaves behind a wife and young son, CNN said

Man sentenced to 30 years for attack on woman in front of their son

Officials announced that an Ohio man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for trying to kill a Georgia woman in front of their 5-year-old son in 2015.

Joseph Tarik Davis, now 38, previously pleaded guilty to a number of charges in connection with the Feb. 12, 2015, attack on his former girlfriend, whose name has not been released, according to a statement from Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds’ office. 

>> Read more trending news 

Prosecutors said Davis broke into the woman’s apartment in Kennesaw, Georgia, while she was at work and hid in a closet. When the woman returned home with the couple’s child, Davis jumped out of the closet and choked her until she passed out, according to officials.

When she came to, he stabbed her at least seven times as she tried to run after their child, who was trying to get out of their apartment, prosecutors said. Davis told the woman he was going to kill her, according to the statement.

He then took the child and left the scene before being taken into custody the next morning.

“This type of violence, especially against women and children, simply will not be tolerated,” said Assistant District Attorney David Williamson, one of the prosecutors on the case.

During Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Davis angrily shouted at the woman as deputies took him from the courtroom, the DA’s office said.

The former girlfriend said her son still has nightmares about the attack.

Davis was charged with aggravated assault, aggravated battery, cruelty to children in the first degree and other charges. After he is released from prison, he will be on probation for 10 years, according to the terms of the sentence.

Man tries to hijack Houston TV news van, then steals patrol car

A vehicle crashed into a Houston television station’s news van Monday morning, and the driver attempted to hijack the crew before he stole a police cruiser, police said.

>> Read more trending news 

The incident involved a KPRC news van at 4:40 a.m. Police said the driver hit the van and unsuccessfully attempted to pull the driver out of the vehicle, KHOU reported.

According to KPRC, reporter Sofia Ojeda and photographer Damon Sales, who was driving the van, were on their way to cover a story. They were stopped at a red light at an intersection when a vehicle sideswiped the van, the television station reported.

"He said, 'I'm stealing your vehicle. I'm stealing your vehicle,'" Sales told KPRC. "He tried to pull me out. We're buckled in, and he's like, 'Get out! Get out! Get out!'"

Two Houston officers stopped to help, the television station reported. The man pushed one officer down and dragged the other one out of the cruiser before stealing the vehicle.

The patrol car was found two hours later, KHOU reported. The suspect is still at large, the television station reported.

Both journalists were taken to a hospital for evaluation, KPRC reported. One officer suffered minor injuries.

Fugitive's own dog leads deputies to him after chase, officials say

An Oklahoma man is behind bars after his own dog led deputies to him during a search, officials said.

>> Read a Facebook post about the incident here

James L. Ayer's arrest came Saturday, three days after sheriff's deputies served a search warrant for methamphetamine and firearms at a Wagoner County barn that was turned into a house.

When deputies entered the house Wednesday, they said they found Carrie Metcalf hiding inside and arrested her on other warrants.

Drugs and firearms were found during the search, deputies said.

Investigators later identified Ayer as another suspect. He had been on the run from police until his arrest this weekend, officials said.

>> Read more trending news 

Deputies said they spotted Ayer's car Saturday and pulled him over. Ayer got out of the car, ran from deputies and hid in a nearby field, officials said.

Searchlights were put up in the area while officials looked for Ayer. Deputies were able to see a dog's eyes glowing and looking at them, according to the incident report. When deputies went toward the dog, they found Ayer hiding, the report said.

Deputies said they later found out that the dog that helped them was Ayer's personal pet.

Robber forces McDonald's employees into fridge at gunpoint, police say

Police have arrested a man who is accused of robbing a McDonald's and locking employees into a freezer at gunpoint early Saturday morning in Cumming, Georgia.

Kaleem Tariq-Madyun, 35, is charged with one count of armed robbery and seven counts of aggravated assault. 

>> Read more trending news 

“Employees reported being forced into a refrigerated area by an armed suspect who took an undisclosed amount of money,” Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman said in a Facebook post Sunday. “The employees fled out of the back of the building and contacted deputies.”

Forsyth County News reported that a joint effort by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit and the Gwinnett County Police Department led to Tariq-Madyun’s arrest after a search warrant was obtained and officials went to the suspect’s home.

Tariq-Madyun remains in the Forsyth County Jail without bond and has a pending court hearing.

Florida man accused of defrauding FEMA of thousands of dollars after hurricanes, tropical storm

As people in Florida are struggling with the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, a Jacksonville man is wanted on allegations of defrauding FEMA of thousands of dollars.

>> Watch the news report here

Lepoleon Spikes is accused of claiming damage to different homes in Jacksonville for three separate storms.

>> Visit ActionNewsJax.com for the latest on recovery efforts in Hurricane Michael’s aftermath

A grand jury indictment claims he provided FEMA with fraudulent lease agreements as proof of damage.

>> On ActionNewsJax.com: 17 Florida DCF workers fired over emergency food stamp applications

Documents say Spikes was awarded thousands of dollars after Hurricanes Matthew and Irma, as well as Tropical Storm Debby.

“You’re taking from people and families that really need the money,” said Scherlinda Bennett, who says her home was flooded during both Matthew and Irma.

>> Read more trending news 

ActionNewsJax went to one of the homes where Spikes supposedly lived, but learned that was years ago. The home’s current owner claims it never had storm damage.

Savannah unamused by googly eyes placed on historic statue: 'It's a crime'

The Nathanael Greene Monument in Savannah, Georgia, was defaced with googly eyes this week, the city posted on its official Facebook page.

>> On AJC.com: Georgia town among America’s top 3 small cities, according to Condè Nast

“It may look funny but harming our historic monuments and public property is no laughing matter, in fact, it's a crime,” officials wrote.

>> See the post here

According to the Savannah Morning News, police are investigating the incident and searching for the vandal responsible.

Defacing, defiling or mutilating a grave marker, monument or memorial devoted to a deceased individual who served in the military is considered criminal trespass, which is a misdemeanor offense. But if the damage is upwards of $500, it’s a felony crime: criminal damage to property.

>> On AJC.com: Wilderness, wildlife, bamboo and fossils: The Savannah you don't know

Greene, who served as a major general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War is buried in Johnson Square. Though he never fought in Georgia, his military strategy and leadership helped free Georgia from British forces.

The soldier moved to Savannah with his family after the war, but died of heat stroke shortly after in 1786.

From the monument’s historical marker in Johnson Square:

The 50-foot, white marble obelisk, designed by the well-known architect, William Strickland, was completed in 1830. The original cornerstone was laid here on March 21, 1825, by Greene's old friend, the Marquis de LaFayette. At the dedicatory ceremony General LaFayette said:

>> Read more trending news 

"The great and good man to whose memory we are paying a tribute of respect, affection, and regret, has acted in our revolutionary contest a part so glorious and so important that in the very name of Greene are remembered all the virtues and talents which can illustrate the patriot, the statesman, and the military leader ..."

Man charged with murder in deadly attack on girlfriend kills himself in jail, police say

A Tennessee man was behind bars for just a few days after police say he killed his girlfriend.

>> Watch the news report here

Santrez Traylor, 34, was accused of hitting the 31-year-old woman with his car about 9 p.m. Oct. 7, according to the Memphis Police Department. He killed himself inside his jail about 3 p.m. Saturday, police said.

He was transported by ambulance to Regional One Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Officers originally responded to a home in the 3200 block of Carnes Avenue for someone who was armed last Sunday, but witnesses told WHBQ that they saw the whole incident unfold before their eyes in front of the victim’s home.

>> On Fox13Memphis.com: Man repeatedly ran over girlfriend with car, hit her with brick outside Memphis home, witnesses say

“I witnessed a murder,” said neighbor Jay Smoot. “It’s pretty, pretty overwhelming.”

Witnesses said shortly after 9 p.m., they heard what turned out to be the deadly confrontation between the victim and her boyfriend, Traylor – who is her child’s father. 

They said they also saw Traylor using a brick to hit the woman in the head. 

“She was standing when he first hit her and then she fell down and he repeatedly was hitting her with the brick, hitting her with the brick,” one neighbor said. “Kicking, punching her he was trying to make sure she was dead.”

Moments later, witnesses told WHBQ that Traylor went into the home and got keys to a car in the driveway.

>> Read more trending news 

That’s when they said he repeatedly “ran her over.”

Traylor was charged with criminal trespassing and domestic assault almost a month ago when he came to the victim’s home threatening to hurt their children, according to a police affidavit. 

The document also detailed several other reports of domestic violence involving the suspect and victim. 

Authorities said Traylor ran away from the scene before officers arrived, but he was later arrested and charged with second degree murder and two counts of aggravated assault. 

On Wednesday, WHBQ had a chance to speak with Traylor's sister, Sentriace Smith. Smith told WHBQ that she was sticking by her brother's side no matter what. The sister said this situation has been going on for at least eight years.

>> On Fox13Memphis.com: Family of man charged in brutal murder of girlfriend speaks out

“I’ve been called to their home and I witnessed some of the arguments going on,” Smith said.

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