6 California inmates escape jail using homemade rope to descend walls, police say


Police are searching for the men, including one who is charged with murder.

Police in central California are on the hunt for six men they say escaped from a jail late Saturday night by scaling down its walls from the roof with homemade rope.

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office said the inmates, who range from 19 to 22 years old, were first spotted missing from their cells before midnight. Officers determined they were able “to gain access to the roof of the facility and utilize a homemade rope to scale down the side of the jail,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.

The fugitives who escaped from the Merced County Sheriff’s Office Jail have been identified and described as the following:

Fabian Cruz Roman, 22, 5-feet, 6-inches tall and 155 pounds, was in jail for a charge of murder, according to the sheriff’s office.

Gabriel Francis Cornado, 19, 5-feet, 10-inches tall and 225 pounds, was in jail for charges of attempted murder, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, participation in a criminal street gang, felon in possession of a firearm and violation of probation, the sheriff’s office said.

Manuel Allen Leon, 21, 5-feet, 10-inches tall and 165 pounds, was in jail for charges of assault with a firearm, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, evading a peace officer-reckless driving, participation in a criminal street gang and carrying a loaded firearm, according to the sheriff’s office.

Andrews Nunez Rodriguez Jr., 21, 5-feet, 7-inches tall and 145 pounds, was in jail for charges of attempted murder, shooting at an inhabited dwelling, participation in a criminal street gang and possession of a firearm, the sheriff’s office said.

Edgar Eduardo Ventura, 22, 5-feet, 11-inches tall and 129 pounds, was in jail for charges of felon in possession of a firearm, participation in a criminal street gang and violation of probation, the sheriff’s office said.

Jorge Barron, 20, 5-feet, 5-inches tall and 140 pounds, was in jail for a charge of violation of probation, the sheriff’s office said.

A task force has been created to find the fugitives, and anyone with information is asked to call 911, the sheriff’s office said.

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“Stingray Technology” Used To Locate Child-Trafficking Associate Eluding Capture

An associate of Jeffrey Epstein – who is facing child trafficking charges – Ms Ghislaine Maxwell, was tracked down by the FBI using the data from her mobile phone.

Shortly, the 58-year-old woman was arrested in her secluded mansion in New Hampshire on July 2 during a raid. The operation happened a day after a request was made for a search warrant “to determine with precision the Target Cellular Device’s location”.

However, upon arrest, she pleaded not guilty in helping Epstein recruit and groom underage girls for sex, and not guilty to perjury for having denied involvement under oath.

As first reported by The Daily Beast, the newly unsealed document revealed that Ms Maxwell was located using GPS and “stingray” technology to pinpoint a phone she had registered under the name “G Max”. This phone had been used to call her lawyer, sister and husband.

Ms Maxwell had been hiding out in the $1.3 million home following the arrest and subsequent death in prison of Epstein, with whom she had a relationship with in the 1990s. Currently, she is being held in detention in New York City ahead of her trial, which is set to begin in July.

In the court documents disclosed, details of her arrest including the request of a “GPS warrant” to locate Ms Maxwell were revealed, which allowed them to track Ms Maxwell’s whereabouts to an area of about 2.5 square kilometres.

Another warrant was requested for the use of a “stingray” device to narrow the search.

According to the second application, “The location data is insufficiently specific to allow the FBI to identify the particular building in which the Target Cellular Device is currently located.”

The device used to trace Ms Maxwell’s exact location inside her mansion is defined in the warrant as a device “capable of broadcasting signals … in some respects like a cellular tower”.

In addition, prosecutors said Ms Maxwell had used her New Hampshire home, which officials said she purchased in December 2019 in cash, as a hideout.

Her husband, on the other hand, whose name was redacted from court papers, argued that Ms Maxwell moved there to protect her safety and escape the media frenzy, not to dodge from capture.

Her record shows that she was denied bail twice, most recently on December 29 on a judge ruling as Ms Maxwell posed a “flight risk” despite her proposed $37.5 million bail package.

As predicted, Ms Maxwell faces up to 35 years in prison if convicted at her scheduled trial in July 2021.

(Image source: ABC News)

Russia gives Kremlin critic Navalny an ultimatum: Return immediately or face jail


FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny takes part in a rally in Moscow, Russia, February 29, 2020. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov/File Photo

December 28, 2020

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s prison service on Monday gave Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny a last minute ultimatum: Fly back from Germany at once and report at a Moscow office early on Tuesday morning, or be jailed if you return after that deadline.

Navalny, one of President Vladimir Putin’s leading critics, was airlifted to Germany for treatment in August after collapsing on a plane in what Germany and other Western nations say was an attempt to murder him with a Novichok nerve agent.

Russia has said it has seen no evidence he was poisoned and has denied any involvement in the incident.

The Federal Prison Service (FSIN) on Monday accused Navalny of violating the terms of a suspended prison sentence he is still serving out over a conviction dating from 2014, and of evading the supervision of Russia’s criminal inspection authority.

Citing an article in the British medical publication The Lancet about his treatment, it said Navalny had been discharged from hospital in Berlin on Sept. 20 and that all symptoms of what it called his illness had vanished by Oct. 12.

“Therefore the convicted man is not fulfilling all of the obligations placed on him by the court, and is evading the supervision of the Criminal Inspectorate,” it said.

Navalny is serving out a suspended three-and-a-half-year prison term over a theft case he says was politically-motivated. His probation period expires on Dec. 30.

The prison service said in a statement late on Monday that it had summoned Navalny to report to the inspection authority and that his suspended sentence could be changed to a real jail term if his suspected violations of the terms of the suspended sentence were proven to be true.

The prison service mentioned no deadline, but Navalny posted a screenshot of a message to his lawyer which said he had until 0900 on Tuesday to return and show up at a Moscow office.

His spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh, said on Twitter, it was impossible for Navalny to return in time, that he was still convalescing after his poisoning, and accused the prison service of acting on orders from the Kremlin.

“There’s no way he could appear at the Moscow Criminal Inspectorate tomorrow. But does the FSIN really care about common sense? They were given an order, they are fulfilling it,” she wrote.

The Kremlin has said Navalny is free to return to Russia at any time like any other Russian citizen.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn)



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Two NSW men sentenced to 17 years jail for murder of QLD man Tyron Beauchamp


Two men who murdered a Queensland man and dumped his mutilated body in bushland on the NSW mid-north coast have been sentenced to 17 years in prison.

Tyron Beauchamp’s remains were found by a NSW Rural Fire Service crew that extinguished a small blaze in the Yarratt State Forest two days after Christmas in 2018.

The 41-year-old’s skull had been fractured during a beating before he was taken to a dirt cul-de-sac.

Darcy Dufty and Andrue Tisdell were among five men arrested across Taree over the murder last May and later pleaded guilty.

Justice Richard Cavanagh today sentenced both men to 17 years and three months in prison, with a non-parole period of 12 years.

The NSW Supreme Court heard Beauchamp had struggled with drug addiction and was staying in a shed after being released from prison in November 2018.

Dufty and Tisdell were affected by “a significant cocktail of drugs and alcohol” consumed on Christmas Eve — including ice and marijuana — when Dufty formed the view Beauchamp had been “disrespecting him”.

Justice Cavanagh said the two went to find Beauchamp on Christmas Day and were “pumping each other up” in the car, having agreed to “give him a hiding” before “moving him on”.

“In their drug-induced and alcoholic state, the offenders set upon Mr Beauchamp whilst he lay in a bed, unprotected and defenceless,” he said.

Beauchamp yelled “don’t” and “stop” as he was beaten to the head with a metal bar by Tisdell and punched and kicked by Dufty.

The judge found the two men did not intend to kill Tyron Beauchamp.(Facebook: Supplied)

The judge said the victim must have been terrified as he was wrapped in a doona, put in the boot of a car and driven to the forest.

The following day, Dufty and Tisdell returned to cut off Beauchamp’s hands and mutilate his body.

Justice Cavanagh found the pair did not intend to kill Beauchamp, but did intend to inflict grievous bodily harm which led to his death.

Their drug-induced state did not lessen the seriousness of the crime nor their moral culpability, Justice Cavanagh said.

But the judge also acknowledged both defendants came from a background of disadvantage, including drug use from an early age and exposure to domestic violence.

After the judge adjourned the court, Dufty and Tisdell gave each other a thumbs-up on their respective video links from jail.

In June, another man linked to Beauchamp’s death was sentenced to a minimum of 12 months in prison after admitting to hindering a police investigation.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, burned a bag of clothes connected to the murder.

Dufty and Tisdell will both be eligible for parole in May 2031.



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Last inmate to share jail cell with Jeffrey Epstein dies aged 51 of COVID at his mother’s house


The last inmate to have shared a jail cell in federal lockup with Jeffrey Epstein before his suicide died a day after Thanksgiving, months after contracting COVID behind bars. 

Efrain ‘Stone’ Reyes was found dead in a bed at his mother’s apartment in The Bronx on November 27. He was 51 years old. 

Reyes was diagnosed with the coronavirus earlier this year while serving a sentence for a drug trafficking conviction at Queens Detention Facility, where he was transferred from Manhattan Correction Center in August 2019, a day before his notorious cellmate, Epstein, took his own life by hanging. 

Jeffrey Epstein

Efrain ‘Stone’ Reyes, 51 (left), died at his mother’s apartment on November 27. He was the last inmate to share a cell with Jeffrey Epstein (right) before his August 2019 suicide

Reyes was transferred out of the Metropolitan Correctional Center a day before Epstein hanged himself using bedsheets (interior of Epstein's cell is pictured)

Reyes was transferred out of the Metropolitan Correctional Center a day before Epstein hanged himself using bedsheets (interior of Epstein’s cell is pictured) 

Reyes reportedly told his niece before his death that Epstein was a 'good cellmate' he enjoyed reading and kept to himself

Reyes reportedly told his niece before his death that Epstein was a ‘good cellmate’ he enjoyed reading and kept to himself 

Reyes’ niece, Angelique Lopez, 27, told the New York Daily News that prior to his death, her uncle spoke about his time behind bars with the billionaire sex offender, whom he described as a ‘good cellmate’ who kept to himself and spent much of his time reading. 

‘He wasn’t a problem starter or too loud,’ Lopez told the paper of the disgraced financier, who she said had been placed in her uncle’s cell because Reyes had a broken leg and was ‘laid back.’ 

According to Reyes’ niece, her uncle told her that he witnessed Epstein being mistreated by corrections officers at MCC and extorted by other inmates, who knew of his massive fortune and were eager to get their hands on some of it.

‘[Staff] were treating him like c**p. They were making him sleep on the floor. They wouldn’t let him sleep on a cot,’ Lopez said.

Reyes was said to have told his niece that in his final days, Epstein was on suicide watch, was ‘very depressed’ and said that ‘he didn’t want to live anymore’. 

Another former MCC inmate was quoted as telling the Daily News that Epstein ‘was saying he’s going to kill himself because the government is trying to kill him anyway.’ 

Epstein hanged himself using ripped bed sheets less than 24 hours after Reyes was transferred to the privately run Queens jail for cooperating witnesses.  

Following Epstein’s August 10, 2019, suicide, the FBI questioned Reyes’ about his former cellmate’s demeanor.

Reyes claimed that Epstein was mistreated by staff at the jail and extorted by other inmates

Reyes claimed that Epstein was mistreated by staff at the jail and extorted by other inmates 

According to Reyes, Epstein was suicidal towards the end (Epstein's noose is pictured)

According to Reyes, Epstein was suicidal towards the end (Epstein’s noose is pictured) 

Lopez said her uncle cooperated with the investigation, but he was nervous to blow the whistle on the allegedly abusive MCC staff for fear of retaliation.

‘He was worried if they told them what they did to Epstein he was worried it would follow him and affect him negatively,’ Lopez said.

In a note that was found in Epstein’s cell after his death he complained about being served burnt food and having ‘giant bugs’ crawling over his hands.  

Reyes was at the Queens facility, which previously housed rapper-turned-informant Tekashi69, when he contracted COVID-19 in the spring.

Lopez recounted how her uncle broke down in tears, telling his family of his diagnosis and expressing fear that he would die of the virus behind bars.

The niece said when her uncle regained his freedom in April, it was apparent that the illness had taken a heavy toll on his lungs. The 51-year-old also suffered from diabetes and heart problems.

Following his release, Reyes expressed doubts that Epstein could have hanged himself from the frame of the bunk bed as it wasn’t tall enough, saying that it didn’t make sense.

However, he said said he couldn’t be sure as ‘sometimes people are fighting something we know nothing about.’

Epstein’s suicide is still the subject of an ongoing investigation by the US Department of Justice. 



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Loujain al-Hathloul sentenced to 5 years jail.


Loujain al-Hathloul, one of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent women’s rights activists, has been sentenced to five years and eight months in prison by the kingdom’s special court for terrorism offenses, according to her family.

The sentence includes a two-year and 10-month suspension, in addition to time she has already served, paving the way for Ms Hathloul to be released in two months’ time, according to a statement released by her family on Monday.

A 2014 image made from a video released by Loujain al-Hathloul. (AP)

Ms Hathloul, 31, was detained in May 2018 in a sweep that targeted prominent opponents of the kingdom’s former law barring women from driving.

The crackdown happened just weeks before the ban was lifted, casting doubt on a series of reforms put forward by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS.

Ms Hathloul’s trial had been scheduled to begin in criminal court last month, where she faced charges including activism against the kingdom’s restrictive male guardianship laws and contact with foreign journalists and diplomats – an application for a job with the UN was used as evidence against her.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS. (AP)

Instead, her case was transferred to the Specialised Criminal Court for terrorism and national security (SCC).

She was accused of using her relations with foreign governments and rights groups to “pressure the Kingdom to change its laws and systems,” according to a charge sheet her family published earlier in December.

The SCC was described by Amnesty International in November as an “an institution used to silence dissent and notorious for issuing lengthy prison sentences following seriously flawed trials.”

In a statement on Monday, her sister Lina said Ms Hathloul had been charged, tried and convicted using counter-terrorism laws in a rushed trial that “failed to provide evidence beyond Loujain’s well noted activism and failed to properly investigate the torture Loujain endured in prison.”

Ms Hathloul has told her family that she was sexually assaulted and tortured while in detention, including waterboarding, flogging and electrocution, according to multiple statements released by her family and supporters.

The Saudi government has previously denied allegations of torture, saying it does not “condone, promote, or allow the use of torture”.

Jiddah, Saudi Arabia
Jiddah’s historical district, a UNESCO registered World Heritage site. (AP)

The SCC judge also denied the torture allegations in his final report, according to the Hathloul family statement.

CNN has reached out to the Saudi government for comment on the case.

Ms Hathloul has twice gone on hunger strike – in protest at her prison conditions, and because she was denied communication with her relatives – according to her family.

A 2019 American Bar Association Center for Human Rights report said the SCC was created in 2008 to prosecute terrorism detainees, but that the its “caseload was quickly expanded from alleged violent extremists to include political dissidents, religious minorities and human rights activists” and concluded that the “SCC routinely convicts individuals of terrorism charges without any meaningful evidence”.

A view of Shaybah oilfield in Rub Al-Khali, Saudi Arabia. The highly anticipated sale of a sliver of the company has been generating global buzz because it could clock in as the world's biggest initial public offering, surpassing record holder Alibaba whose IPO raised $21.8 billion on its first day of trading in 2014. Facebook raised $16 billion in its 2012 IPO.
A view of Shaybah oilfield in Rub Al-Khali, Saudi Arabia. (AP)

Activist Ms Hathloul will remain on probation for three years following her release, during which time she could be arrested for any perceived illegal activity, according to the family’s statement.

She will also be banned from travelling for five years, it said.

Ms Hathloul has 30 days to appeal the court’s verdict.

‘Activism is not a crime’

Three other women’s rights activists who were arrested alongside Ms Hathloul – Nassima al-Sada, Nouf Abdulaziz and Maya’a al-Zahrani – remain in detention, according to human rights group Amnesty International.

The case of another prominent activist, Samar Badawi, has now been referred to the special court.

Ms Badawi campaigned against the driving ban and against the imprisonment of her former husband, rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair, as well as her brother, blogger Raif Badawi.

Last month, seven European human rights ambassadors criticised Saudi Arabia over the continued detention of these activists and called on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Special Rapporteurs and Treaty Bodies in “reiterating our call for the release of all political detainees, including the women’s rights activists”.

Oil refinery and mosque in Saudi Arabia (Getty)
Oil refinery and mosque in Saudi Arabia. (Getty)

“Peaceful activism, and advocating for women’s rights is not a crime. Human rights defenders can be a strong partner for governments in addressing concerns within society,” the ambassadors said.

On Monday, Ms Hathloul’s sister Lina underlined that message, saying her sister is “not a terrorist, she is an activist”.

“To be sentenced for her activism for the very reforms that MBS and the Saudi Kingdom so proudly tout is the ultimate hypocrisy. My sister is the bravest person I know, and while we are devastated that she will have to spend even one more day in prison, our fight is far from over,” she said in a statement.

“We will not rest until Loujain is free.”



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Former IMH nurse gets jail and caning for sexual offences against patients, ex-colleagues


SINGAPORE: A former Institute of Mental Health (IMH) nurse tasked to care for patients – including those who were severely mentally ill and suicidal – abused his position and committed sexual offences against them instead.

The 36-year-old man – who cannot be named due to gag orders imposed by the court – was sentenced on Monday (Dec 28) to four years, nine months and one week’s jail and 10 strokes of the cane.

He molested patients and took videos of them when they were naked. At the time of the incident, some of his victims were warded in the High Dependency Psychiatric Care Unit, a highly specialised ward for patients who are actively disturbed, suicidal or severely mentally ill. 

Other victims include his then-colleagues and a pregnant woman who responded to an advertisement he posted for a photoshoot model.

The man was caught in March this year by a victim who saw him take an upskirt video of her on an escalator at a train station.

The police arrested the man on Mar 4 this year at IMH and seized his phones. Four types of videos were found in them – upskirt videos of IMH staff and members of the public, videos of IMH nurses changing, videos of IMH patients showering and videos of the accused molesting IMH patients.

As part of his duties caring for patients in the High Dependency Psychiatric Care Unit, the man had to monitor patients in the shower to ensure they did not commit acts of self-harm.

Usually, nurses are assigned to wards of their corresponding gender, but the man would occasionally be asked to carry out duties in the female ward by the nurse in charge of the shift.

Investigations found that he had filmed nine female patients in the unit.

He also molested a victim at the unit who had been restrained to a hospital bed, and filmed himself committing the crime.

The man also outraged the modesty of another patient who had been sedated for aggression.

In a separate incident, the man posted an advertisement online for a pregnant model for a photoshoot. He asked the woman who responded to the ad to wear a dress that clearly showed her pregnancy bump and met her at Chinese Gardens.

While instructing her to face away from him, the man took five upskirt videos of the pregnant woman before placing the videos in an application that password-protected the clips.

The man, who is married with four children, pleaded guilty to eight charges of molestation, insulting a woman’s modesty and various acts of voyeurism. Another 34 similar charges were taken into consideration. He has been diagnosed with voyeuristic disorder.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Thiagesh Sukumaran asked for 58 months’ jail and 13 strokes of the cane, taking into account “the large number of offences, the repugnant and sickening abuse of the accused’s position” and “how the accused compromised the physical integrity and dignity” of the patients under his care.

Nurses are at the heart of our healthcare system, he said, but the accused instead perpetrated “egregious abuse at a public hospital”, with his “despicable conduct” striking “at the very ethos of nursing” and threatening to “grossly taint and mar the efforts of healthcare workers everywhere”. 

Defence lawyers Mato Kotwani and Ashwin Ganapathy asked instead for not more than 57 months and a week’s jail, and no more than nine strokes of the cane.

Mr Kotwani said his client’s decision to plead guilty stemmed from his remorse.

“He is truly sorry for the hurt and pain he has caused to the victims and their families,” he said. 

He added that his client has made “unqualified confessions to the police, fully assisting in their investigations”.

District Judge Luke Tan said he broadly agreed with the prosecution, adding that the accused has “really done a great disservice” to the nursing profession.

IMH said in response to queries from CNA that it takes a serious view of the incident. It has also since tightened protocol for staff members working in mixed-gender wards.

“IMH takes a serious view of the incident and staff conduct, and had fully cooperated with the police in their investigations,” said an IMH spokesperson, adding that the accused was dismissed on Mar 11. 

“We had also reached out to the affected staff and patients, addressed their concerns, and provided support to them,” the spokesperson said.

“Following the charge in court, we have reminded all staff to adhere to the hospital’s code of conduct. We also further tightened our protocol for staff working in mixed-gender wards.”



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Teenager who killed 82yo Canberra man Richard Cater in random attack sentenced to 15 years’ jail


A teenager who killed an 82-year-old Canberra man in a frenzied and unprovoked attack while high on LSD has been sentenced to 15 years in jail.

The young man apologised to victim Richard Cater’s family in court earlier this week, saying he was “experimenting” with drugs at the time of the assault.

Friends were dropping Mr Cater off at his north Canberra home after a night out at a restaurant in March 2019 when the teenager attacked.

The court previously heard he repeatedly made threats, making “monster prehistoric sounds”, as he assaulted the group.

“I’m going to kill you, I’m going to kill you,” he was alleged to have said.

Court documents said he tore at a friend of Mr Cater’s mouth, before snapping the neck of a woman who tried to help.

When Mr Cater also intervened, the teenager turned on him and stomped on his head.

Mr Cater later died in hospital from his injuries.

Justice Michael Elkaim said the teenager’s 15-year sentence would be suspended after eight-and-a-half years.

Teen had not shown ‘tendency to be violent’ before attack

In handing down his sentence, the judge said it had been difficult to weigh the horrific nature of the murder and assaults against the teenager’s evident remorse.

The youth had pleaded for forgiveness in his apology on Monday, saying he was “heartbroken” over the consequences of his actions.

“Every day I am reminded of the fear and heartache I have inflicted on you and your family and friends,” he said.

Justice Elkaim said he believed the teenager’s apology was genuine.

“This impression was confirmed by him not being cross-examined and the frank and fair concession by the Crown that it was accepted that his remorse was genuine and his prospects of rehabilitation were good,” Justice Elkaim said.

He said the teen was in high school at the time of the offence and had no criminal record, nor had there been any suggestion of violent behaviour in his past.

“His use of drugs such as cannabis and ecstasy was reasonably established. His use of LSD was limited,” Justice Elkaim said.

“In my view there is no basis upon which I could conclude that [the teenager] knew, or even had regarded as a possibility, that his use of LSD would induce the psychosis in which he descended into a raving and violent marauder.”

Court documents revealed the teenager had bought the LSD from a “random guy” and that he found it “distorted my vision and gave me a feeling of euphoria.”

But he had not experienced an feelings of anxiety of paranoia before the night of the attack.

‘There is no closure for our family’

Mark Cater said his family were disappointed with the sentence.(ABC News: Michael Inman)

Outside court, Mr Cater’s son Mark said his family were disappointed with the sentence.

“No family should ever have to go through the tragedy that we have lived through,” Mr Cater said.

“And to know that the offender will be able to walk down the street our mother lives in sooner than we would like gives us no relief.

On Monday, 16 victim impact statements were read out during the hearing, describing Mr Cater as a loving family man.

His family also spoke in court of how they had been planning a big celebration for the great-grandfather’s 60th wedding anniversary, but how they instead were forced to organise his funeral.

“The loneliness and fear just never goes away,” his widow said in court on Monday.

The court also heard from the two other victims of the attack, who described the treatment they required in its wake.

The woman described how she needed spinal surgery to fix her injuries, still suffered neck pain, and had nerve pain down her right side.

The man said he still suffered numbness in his jaw and needed dental work to fix a damaged tooth.

Justice Elkaim acknowledged some of the family might be disappointed with the 15-year sentence.

“Some of the persons who read out victim impact statements called for a life sentence or at least a very lengthy term of imprisonment,” he said.



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How the Founder of Dave’s Killer Bread Went From Jail to Selling His Business for $275 Million



5 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


As an entrepreneur, you are used to juggling multiple tasks and navigating choppy waters. Eventually, you grow accustomed to surviving in a world of organized chaos. To you, setbacks are just part of the process, but what if one of those setbacks happened to be a 15-year stint in a penitentiary? Would you be able to maintain that same enthusiasm that keeps you going right now?

Meet Dave Dahl, founder of Dave’s Killer Bread. By his own admission, Dahl will tell you that he suffered from low self-esteem, and up until 2001, made a series of poor life choices. After serving a decade-and-a-half sentence for possession of drugs, robbery, burglary and assault, he returned home in 2001 to the family bakery business, which was built by his father and run by his brother. Together, he and his brother sought out to develop a better bread in hopes of changing lives, one loaf at a time.

Fast forward to 2015, and Flowers Foods agreed to purchase “Dave’s Killer Bread” for $275 million. Let’s review the five things Dahl did to take his bread company from local farmers markets to the global market.

Related: A Family Business With an Open-Minded Hiring Policy

1. Self-forgiveness

Dave’s story is one of second chances. Actually, it’s one of multiple chances. Prior to reuniting with his brother and joining the family business, he had been incarcerated four times. The moral of the story is that it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve screwed; there’s always an opportunity to start anew. You may have failed yesterday, but that doesn’t mean you have to carry that burden today. Take solace in knowing that most people won’t remember your missteps. Want to know why? They’re too busy worrying about their own. 

2. Never coasting

One of the biggest reasons Dave’s Killer Bread was such a hit was because other breadmakers simply hadn’t been as innovative. You can argue that his non-GMO ingredients are better, but on the surface, all Dahl did was add more whole grains and unique toppings to the exterior than other manufacturers were offering. The big dogs stopped being creative. The biggest mistake you can make as an entrepreneur is to coast.

Related: Five Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Need To Think Out of the Box

3. Remaining driven

Great ideas come as you work on something you’re passionate about. There is a saying by Gabby Bernstein: “Allow your passion to become your purpose, and one day it will become your profession.” Dahl’s passion helps him fill that hole in his life. He wanted to bake a loaf of bread with rich texture and natural whole grain that people would love Passion gives you motivation, direction and purpose in life.

4. Taking a leap of faith

One of the biggest challenges Dave’s company faced was moving into a facility that cost his brother Glenn $1.5 million. It was a huge risk for them to take, knowing that they had no cash flow support to sustain such a purchase, and it was all based on future expectations. Eventually, they did see significant growth in the business, even expanding and hiring more employees. Dave’s hard work, dedication, perseverance and continued focus on his purpose helped him take this risk.

There will be moments in your own entrepreneurial endeavour where you will be forced to operate outside of your comfort zone. Eventually, you learn how to operate with butterflies in your stomach, and it becomes business as usual. 

Related: Why You Need to Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

5. Being a mad scientist

Dave experimented with different types of bread and countless ingredients. He researched what was trending and what was not. He wasn’t afraid of letting his product out in the market to receive feedback. He knew that some of his ideas would fail. He also knew that some of his ideas would hit, and when they did, they were home runs. Customers were repeatedly asked for his bread, and word got out so fast that it became famous in the community.

Your business ideas won’t work if you sit and think about them all day. You have to go out, experiment and execute your ideas, no matter just how crazy they may sound.

Dave Dahl wasn’t born an entrepreneur. His early life was a struggle, and he long clung to a victim mentality. But Dave’s Killer Bread is a perfect example of how you can turn tragedy into triumph. It wasn’t too late for Dahl, even after 15 years behind bars, and it isn’t too late for you. Apply these same five strategies that he used, and go build your own multi-million dollar empire.



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Terrorist Abdul Nacer Benbrika to stay in jail under continuing detention order, despite finishing sentence


A convicted terrorist who once espoused the virtues of Osama Bin Laden will stay in an Australian prison after Victoria’s Supreme Court deemed him too risky to release.

Even though Abdul Nacer Benbrika has completed his 15-year jail term, he will remain behind bars until 2023 after the Federal Government convinced Justice Andrew Tinney to impose what is known as a continuing detention order.

The order allows Australian supreme courts to keep convicted terrorists in custody for up to three years after they finish their sentences, in order to protect the public.

The order can also be extended. It starts from Thursday.

Benbrika was jailed after authorities uncovered that he was the “guiding light” for a terrorist cell that was planning attacks on high-profile targets and discussing the assassination of then-prime minister John Howard.

The 60-year-old was arrested in 2005 and was convicted four years later by the Supreme Court, which ordered him to spend 15 years in prison.

With time served prior to sentencing, he has now completed that sentence.

No other way to prevent risk to public, judge says

Justice Tinney said he was “satisfied to a high degree of probability, on the basis of admissible evidence, that the defendant poses an unacceptable risk … if released into the community”.

“I am satisfied that there is no other less restrictive measure that would be effective in preventing the risk posed by the defendant in this case,” the judge said.

Benbrika, pictured during his original trial, was jailed for involvement in a terrorist cell that was planning attacks on high-profile targets.(ABC News)

He rejected arguments from Benbrika’s legal team that he was less of a risk because he had not physically hurt anyone through his offending.

“I do not believe that fortunate fact to be an appropriate measure by which to assess the risk that the defendant would pose,” he said.

“At the time of his offending, it is clear that the defendant represented a very clear danger to the safety of the community. It was only the intervention of law enforcement authorities which prevented potential mayhem and tragedy.”

Whether Benbrika still held extremist beliefs was a “live issue”, the judge said.

“His crimes were not the product of some moments of carelessness or lack of judgement,” he said.

“His was well-organised and executed conduct, driven by very powerful feelings and beliefs, which had him perfectly willing to perpetrate extreme and outrageous crimes in the name of his faith.”

‘Narcissistic personality traits and sense of intellectual superiority’

The court heard that in 2014, Benbrika claimed to have realised the error of his ways and put aside his desire to pursue violent means.

But Justice Tinney said that claim had a “whiff of implausibility”.

Man in white robe with white cap being led by police officers past gates.
Benbrika is led from court during his trial.(ABC News)

“It strikes me as highly unlikely that a person such as the defendant, with his narcissistic personality traits and well-developed sense of religious and intellectual superiority and infallibility, would have moved, either instantaneously or over time, to embrace the views of another which were so contrary to his own views,” the judge said.

“I am satisfied that the defendant has not renounced or changed his previous beliefs which justified terrorist violence in the name of Allah.

“The defendant has refused to renounce jihad and … has engaged in a good deal of mental gymnastics to justify this.”

Benbrika and his legal team will now consider appealing against the order.

Constitutional question mark over case

In November, Benbrika — who migrated to Australia from Algeria in 1989 — had his citizenship stripped by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton.

He was the first person to lose his citizenship while still onshore under terrorism provisions of the Australian Citizenship Act.

The father of seven now holds an ex-citizen visa, which allows him to remain in Australia but not re-enter if he were deported.

The decision comes as Australia’s High Court grapples with a constitutional question that has come out of the legal action against Benbrika — whether the Commonwealth can give a state court the power to lock someone up for what they might do in the future.

Benbrika’s legal team has argued that the law is unconstitutional, a position Commonwealth lawyers disagree with.

Benbrika previously held Algerian citizenship and if the African nation is unwilling to take him back, he could face indefinite immigration detention in Australia.



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