14-year-old boy will be tried as adult for allegedly stabbing teen girl 114 times


Tristyn Bailey was killed May 9 in St. Johns County, Florida.

Aiden Fucci’s case was moved from juvenile to adult court, State Attorney R. J. Larizza said during a press conference Thursday.

Fucci was initially charged with second-degree murder but did not have time to enter a plea before his charges were upgraded, the State Attorney’s Office of the 7th Circuit told ABC News. Larizza explained the decision was made to charge him as an adult given the brutality of the case.

Bailey was reported missing to the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office on May 9. Her family said she was last seen around midnight. A sprawling search was launched and at 6 p.m. her body was discovered in the immediate area near a retention pond, according to the arrest report.

Fucci was identified as a suspect in the case and was arrested, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office said in a May 11 news release.

“It brings me no pleasure to be charging a 14-year-old as an adult with first degree murder. It was clear to us after we look at what happened that it was not only appropriate to charge the defendant as an adult, but it was really the only charge we could make,” Larizza said Thursday.

He offered new grisly details about her murder, noting there were 114 stab wounds found on Bailey, citing the medical examiner report, and at least 49 of those wounds were to the hands, arms and head that were defensive in nature.

“She was fighting for life,” Larizza said. “To say it was horrific could arguably be made as an understatement.”

Larizza added: “[Fucci] indicated to witnesses that he was going to kill someone by taking them into the woods and stabbing them. The statement that the defendant made to his friends made it clear he was considering a homicide.”

Fucci’s alleged statements were never reported to police, Larizza noted.

Larizza said the knife Fucci carried in the brutal attack was found in a nearby pond. Its broken tip was discovered in the girl’s skull by the medical examiner.

He said investigators found Fucci’s DNA on Tristyn’s body and her DNA was found on the knife, on Fucci’s shoes and on a T-shirt in his bedroom.

“I just want to say that I hope parents will learn something from this vicious, and brutal, murder. And that is you need to know what your kids are doing and what they’re saying. While we might not be able stop these vicious and brutal murders from happening, we ought to at least try,” Larizza said.

Fucci made his first court appearance on the new charges on Friday, appearing virtually via Zoom.

In the procedural hearing, Judge Howard M. Maltz informed Fucci of his rights, the charges and the probable cause to detain him. He will remain in jail without bond Maltz said. Fucci will be arraigned “in the next week or two,” local ABC affiliate WJXX reported.

He has not entered a plea. ABC News has reached out to Fucci’s defense attorney for comment.

The Bailey family also released a statement following Thursday’s announcement.

“We appreciate that today’s outcome is directly the result of the thorough and comprehensive work from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office along with the 7th District State Attorney’s office as part of the initial steps to bring justice for Tristyn’s murder,” the statement, shared with WJXX, said. “The caring and love shown from the people and businesses to raise up the memory of Tristyn and the resolve of our community serve as a beacon of light in the darkness. As shared in the Celebration of Life on the battle of the two wolves, it helps us to feed the good wolf,” citing an old Native American tale her father shared at her memorial service.

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Man charged with animal cruelty after puppy allegedly set ablaze



A man has been charged after allegedly setting a puppy alight in Sydney’s south-west this morning.

Emergency crews were called to a property on Wonga Road, Lurnea after reports a unit was burning just after 3am.

Police and fire crews gained access to the unit and were able to extinguish the blaze, which caused significant damage.

While inspecting the damaged property, officers located a six-month-old puppy locked in a cage on the balcony.

Police allege the puppy was intentionally set alight.

The animal had to be euthanised due to severe burn injuries.

Residents from neighbouring units were evacuated as a precaution, but no other injuries were reported.

A 39-year-old resident of the damaged unit was arrested and taken to Liverpool Police Station.

He’s been charged with aggravated animal cruelty and damage property by fire.

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Cranbourne crash involving allegedly stolen car leaves two dead and teenager critically injured


Two people have died, while a teenage girl is fighting for life and a 20-year old man remains under police guard in hospital after trying to flee the scene of a crash involving an allegedly stolen car in Melbourne.

Police said one of the cars, a blue Commodore, was believed to have been stolen before it crashed into the second car on the South Gippsland Highway, in Melbourne’s south-east.

The driver of the Commodore, a 20-year-old Frankston man, allegedly attempted to run from the scene after the crash but was stopped by a passer-by.

He was under police guard and assisting investigators with their enquiries.

An 18-year-old Cranbourne woman and a 16-year-old Frankston boy riding in the car were killed in the crash.

Police said the cars collided on the stretch of highway near Camms Road in Cranbourne about 4:00pm Sunday.

Another passenger, a 17-year-old Frankston North girl, was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

She remained in a critical condition on Monday morning.

Detective Sergeant Mark Amos from the Major Collision Investigation Unit said she was in “a very, very bad way” on Sunday night.

“We have grave fears for her,” he said.

The fifth passenger of the allegedly stolen Commodore, an 18-year-old Baxter man, had minor injuries.

The other car, a Holden Captiva, was driven by a 39-year-old Lynbrook woman with two girls, aged six and nine, inside.

Police said the girls had minor injuries and the driver had serious, but not life-threatening, injuries.

The woman was in a stable condition at the Alfred Hospital overnight.

Sergeant Amos said the Commodore was heading north before the driver “lost control” of the car, sending it careening over the median strip and into incoming traffic.

He said the children were “doing as well as can be expected”.

The South Gippsland Highway was closed southbound overnight as detectives investigated.

It has since reopened in both directions.

The crash brings Victoria’s 2019 road toll to 181, 61 higher than at the same point last year.

“We’re doing really badly here,” Sergeant Amos said in reference to the road toll.

“We’re losing people at a great rate of knots, and it’s not getting better, it’s getting worse.”

The Major Collison Investigation Unit was investigating, and police urged witnesses or people with dash cam footage to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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Owner reunited with Pitbull after dog allegedly stolen from Sydney CBD



A man has been charged with the alleged theft of a dog from the front of a shop in Sydney’s CBD last week.

The four-year-old Pitbull Terrier named Baxter was tied up outside a store at the intersection of George and Liverpool Streets around 8.20pm last Friday when the owner returned to find her missing.

Baxter’s owner was quick to contact police who started an immediate investigation.




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NSW police find hundreds of birds allegedly used in illegal cockfighting in Sydney’s south-west


Hundreds of fighting cockerels, roosters and chickens have been seized after a raid on a property in Sydney’s south-west, as part of an ongoing investigation into an illegal cockfighting syndicate.

Police and RSPCA inspectors found more than 540 birds as well as cockfighting paraphernalia in Horsley Park yesterday.

Razor sharp blades that would be attached to the birds’ natural spurs during a fight between the animals were also discovered, the RSPCA said.

A man at the property was spoken to by police before being released.

Police and RSPCA inspectors found more than 540 fighting cockerels, roosters and chickens.(

Supplied: NSW Police

)

RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said information in the lead up to the raid suggested there would be 40 birds on the property, so inspectors were shocked when they found hundreds of animals instead.

“We understood there to be about 40 fighting roosters, you can imagine being confronted by 540 fighting roosters,” he said.

“These birds were undoubtedly destined for a very gruesome death. It is an abhorrent barbaric practice that simply needs to stop.”

A knife blade held in a man's hand.
This blade makes a bird into a “lethal weapon” during a cockfight, the RSPCA said.(

ABC News

)

Mr Coleman said it would be “near on impossible” to rehome the birds which are born to fight, and can be aggressive to humans as well as each other.

“We’ll do our best with the younger birds that we’ve managed to secure. But the reality is most of these birds will be humanely euthanised, once this investigation concludes,” he said.

More than 70 roosters were discovered in December last year at a property on Camden Valley Way in Catherine Field, and several cockerels were taken into veterinary care with serious injuries.

Thirty-four men detained at Catherine Field were issued a court attendance notice for promoting, organising or attending an animal fight and are due to appear before Moss Vale Local Court on April 1.

A 56-year-old man was taken into the custody of the Department of Home Affairs regarding his visa status, police said.

In that raid, police also seized metal spikes, spurs and other cockfighting paraphernalia it will be alleged were attached to the birds before they were forced to fight.

A row of cages wtih water bottles handing at the front.
No-one has claimed the birds found on the property.(

Supplied: NSW Police

)

Vision of the seized material showed various blades labelled with names that included “Mexican Slasher”, “Socket Knife”, “Half Bayonet”, “Jagger” and “Flipping Fork Knife”.

Over $100,000 in cash and several electronic devices were also found, police said.

At the time, the Organised Crime Squad Commander, Detective Superintendent Martin Fileman, said the scale of organised animal cruelty had not been seen in two decades.

“By getting enjoyment out of livestock killing each other and making money out of it, it’s quite disgraceful,” he said.

Rings on a wall
The raid was part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged syndicate.(

Supplied: NSW Police

)

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Australian man who allegedly recruited for Islamic State arrested on return from Turkey – 16 News


A wanted man has been arrested on his return to Australia from Turkey following a NSW Joint Counter Terrorism Team (JCTT) investigation into suspected terrorism offences.

The 30-year-old former Sydney man, who was the subject of an outstanding arrest warrant in NSW, was arrested at Melbourne International Airport by members of the AFP International Counter Terrorism Investigations Response Team after arriving on a flight from Turkey about 4pm yesterday (Saturday 8 May 2021).

The arrest warrant was sought by NSW JCTT – comprising the AFP, NSW Police Force (NSWPF), the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, and the NSW Crime Commission – following an investigation into the man’s alleged travel from Sydney to Turkey in 2013.

Authorities will allege the man then travelled from Turkey to Syria, where he allegedly facilitated the travel of foreign terrorist fighters to support Islamic State (IS).

The man will appear before Melbourne Magistrates’ Court this morning via video link, where he will face a number of Commonwealth terrorism offences, including:

• One count of knowingly give support/resources to a terrorist organisation, contrary to section 102.7(1) of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). This offence is punishable by a maximum term of 25 years’ imprisonment.

• One count of engage in a hostile activity in a foreign state, contrary to section 6(1)(a) of the Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978 (Cth). This offence is punishable by a maximum term of 20 years’ imprisonment.

• Three counts of provide support for another person to engage in a hostile activity in a foreign state, contrary to section 7(1)(e) of the Crimes (Foreign Incursions and Recruitment) Act 1978 (Cth). This offence is punishable by a maximum term of 10 years’ imprisonment; and

• One count of entering, or remaining in, declared areas contrary to section 119.2 of the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth). This offence is punishable by a maximum term of 10 years’ imprisonment.

The man will undergo mandatory 14-day quarantine in Victorian corrections facilities before being extradited to NSW for the matter to be heard in a NSW court.

Australian Federal Police Commander Counter Terrorism Operations Stephen Dametto said the return of the Sydney man demonstrates that Australian authorities will continue working with overseas counterparts to support the management of terrorist threats offshore.

“Anyone who fights with, provides material support to, or associates with terrorist groups, is committing a serious crime and will be subject to the law,” Commander Dametto said.

“It has been an offence since 1978 to engage in hostile activity in a foreign country, unless serving in, or with the armed forces of the government of a foreign country.

“We have a responsibility to prevent our citizens from contributing to violence and instability overseas. Our laws are aimed at discouraging Australians from fighting in overseas conflicts and endangering their lives.”

NSWPF Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Commander, Assistant Commissioner Mark Walton, said this was another example of the strength of the partnerships and collaboration in the counter terrorism framework.

“The diligence and dedication of the NSW JCTT investigators was complemented by the significant work conducted by other colleagues both here and abroad, to achieve this result,” Assistant Commissioner Walton said.

“Counter terrorism investigations remain a priority in NSW, and any act or plan for an act that may impact on the safety of our community – regardless of when it occurred – will be acted on with the same tenacity.”

There is no current or impending threat to the community related to the operation.

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Sydney mum who allegedly ran over her daughter while over the legal alcohol limit faces court


A mother who allegedly ran over her daughter, dragging her 100 metres down the road outside their home in Sydney’s south has faced court.

Dale Palmer is accused of hitting her 27-year-old daughter Keely Palmer with a small hatchback outside a house in Caringbah South where a 21st birthday party was being held.

The younger woman was pinned under the Toyota for more than 90 minutes while paramedics and rescue crews worked to free her.

Keely Palmer, 27, was trapped under the car for more than 90 minutes. (9News)

In court today her mother was warned by a magistrate not to breach an AVO which limits how and when she can now see her daughter.

“Keely Palmer is in need of protection,” Magistrate Joy Boulos said.

In court police prosecutors asked for a six-week adjournment so that further charges could potentially be laid.

Three days after the incident Keely is still recovering at St George Hospital.

Dale Palmer has faced court after allegedly running down her daughter in a car and dragging her for 100 metres in Sydney’s south. (9News)

Her mother was allegedly three times the legal alcohol limit at the time.

“There was a party there throughout the evening, but as to the reasons why she was in the vehicle they are unknown at this point of time,” NSW Police Chief Inspector Gary Ford told 9News.

“Her reading of .166 will be the alleged reading for that breath test.”

Mrs Palmer was subsequently charged with aggravated dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm (PCA), and high-range PCA.

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COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria infection control manager stood down after allegedly breaching protocols


The general manager of infection control at the agency running Victoria’s hotel quarantine program has been stood down after allegedly breaching their own protocols twice in the past two months.

Minister for Government Services Danny Pearson said he became aware of the reports last night and had stood aside COVID-19 Quarantine Victoria’s (CQV) general manager of infection prevention and control, Matiu Bush, pending a review into their conduct and behaviour.

“This issue with [Matiu] Bush goes more to [their] attitude and behaviour: there were infection control breaches, but they were of a very low level,” Mr Pearson said.

“Public confidence is paramount, and I don’t think the public would want to see someone in a senior leadership role continue to behave in this way, that’s why [they have] been stood down.”

The head of CQV, Emma Cassar, said the breaches were minor but disappointing.

She said the first incident involved Matiu Bush refusing to get tested at one quarantine hotel after a request by ADF personnel, but they were eventually tested at another site.

“[They] still met the requirement to have a daily test … but my understanding is the staff member did make comments about the fact [they] didn’t need to be tested at that site,” Ms Cassar said.

“We expect the highest standards from our staff, and this has fallen well short of that.”

Another incident involved the infection control manager getting a coffee from a coffee shop and coming back to a quarantine hotel without changing their mask or sanitising.

The leaked incident reports detailing the breaches were published in The Australian newspaper, which also published an internal report contradicting claims by the government that an outbreak at the Holiday Inn quarantine hotel in February was caused by a banned nebuliser.

Instead, the CQV infection control report said the “proposed working hypothesis” was that the leak was caused by a staff member who took an extended amount of time to swab a guest.

Ms Cassar on Wednesday said that was not her understanding.

“The working hypothesis is still as I understand, is that this was caused by the nebuliser,” she said.

The Victorian Opposition has called for all of the incident reports to be released to the public and said the state government had not learnt the lessons from previous hotel quarantine leaks.

“This is an outbreak waiting to happen, this is a lockdown waiting to happen, because the government hasn’t learnt the lessons and they still can’t get it right,” Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien said.

Victoria recorded no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Wednesday for the 68th day in a row.

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Brisbane man charged with allegedly using fake service medals to promote art business


Fortitude Valley detectives allege the man had several interactions with business customers between January and April this year, where the man fraudulently claimed to be the recipient of service awards including the Order of Australia (OAM) and Officer of the Order of Australia Officer (AO).

Police allege he also falsely declared having academic credentials.

Officers say the man used these awards and credentials to attend several events and organise meetings for his artwork business.

During a search of his home in April, police will allege they found several replica items including lapel pins and medallions.

He was subsequently charged with nine counts of fraud and one count of improper use of service decorations.

Detective Acting Senior Sergeant Robert Lapresle said dishonestly gaining a benefit or advantage through deceit or deception is a criminal offence.

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Man allegedly attacked with spirit level in car park in Punchbowl, Sydney


A Sydney man has been ordered to move house after allegedly attacking his neighbour with a builder’s spirit level.

Qutaiba Mehmood and housemate Ali Ahmed were returning home to their apartment in Punchbowl, in the city’s south-west, on Saturday afternoon when they saw another resident, Abdul Assad, in the basement.

Mr Ahmed was parking the car when he claims the other man started to approach him.

Two men were allegedly attacked in Punchbowl. (9News)

“He said ‘why you stare at me?’. I just said him ‘why I would stare at you?'” Mr Ahmed said.

The men told 9News Mr Ahmed started filming after allegedly being punched in the mouth, while Mr Mehmood stepped in to try to defuse the situation.

The video appears to show Qutaiba Mehmood retreating to the staircase Mr Assad swings a builder’s spirit level, snapping a bone in his arm.

“My arm was bleeding and numb,” the popular Pakistani blogger told 9News, labelling the incident “un-Australian”.

“I couldn’t feel my arm,” he said.

“I lost my consciousness and I lost a lot of blood that time.”

“Still I can’t understand what was the reason. There’s no reason. It was so uncalled (for) — unprovoked attack, ” Mr Mehmood said.

In court, police tried to keep the alleged attacker behind bars, alleging he had threatened retribution.

But Mr Assad was granted conditional bail after his brother agreed to hand over $10,000.

Ali Ahmed (left) and Qutaiba Mehmood. (9News)

Outside court, his lawyer said the 43-year-old would be pleading not guilty to all charges, arguing he was acting in self-defence.

The defendant was also ordered to move house and banned from being within 100 metres of his former apartment building.

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