NYC murder suspect at large after threatening to ‘kill and shoot cops’


A man suspected of murdering his girlfriend is at large after calling a police tip hotline and vowing to end his own life while “killing and shooting some cops”.

Joshua Martinez, 33, allegedly stabbed his girlfriend last week and then called the NYPD Crime Stoppers tip hotline.

The suspect then dared police officers to come and get him, according to the New York Post.

During the call, he reportedly vowed to end his own life and take some of the officers down with him.

Carol Nystrom was found dead in her apartment in Inwood, Manhattan, on Thursday, authorities said.

Martinez called the NYPD Crime Stoppers tip hotline

The exact cause of death is under investigation with police previously saying Nystrom was shot in the arm and torso.

On Saturday, a man police believe was Martinez rang the hotline, a department spokesman said.

“He called in and said he is planning on killing himself by shooting and killing some cops,” the NYPD said.

Martinez is 5-foot-6, 165 pounds and was last seen wearing a gray Yankees jersey.

He is known to hang around Washington Heights and Inwood, police said.

Martinez remains at large while police investigate the case.





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Ben Abio and Abraham Ajang Yaak face court over murder charge


A 13th person has been arrested over the deadly north Brisbane park brawl which claimed the life of a 19-year-old and injured 11 others.

A Queensland Police spokesman confirmed a 13th person had been arrested, but had not yet been charged.

It comes as two men were charged with the murder of Girum Mekonnen overnight, a day after 10 others were charged.

One of the men charged overnight will fight the charges, his lawyer has confirmed.

Security was on high alert as Ben Abio, 19, and Abraham Ajang Yaak, 26, fronted Brisbane Arrests Court on Friday morning over the alleged murder of Girum Mekonnen.

It followed emotional scenes outside court as the 10 men charged over the Zillmere brawl appeared in court on Thursday.

Yaak’s family members remained outside the court as he appeared via video link on Friday.

The Redbank Plains men were charged on Thursday night with 12 counts of acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm and one count each of murder, affray and disobedience to lawful order.

The arrests bring the total number of men charged in the ongoing investigation to 12.

Neither men made applications for bail as their matters were adjourned.

Yaak’s lawyer, Basil Karsas, said his client would contest the charges.

Outside court he told reporters Yaak was doing “all right” but said it was “too early to comment any further”.

Abio and Yaak are the latest men to be charged alongside Kresto Wal Wal, Yohana Wal Wal, Gabreal Wal Wal, Santo Wal, Majok Riel Majok, Anas Ayman Abdu Musa, Juma Makuol Deng Makuol, Chan Kuchmol Kon and Alex Edward Deng and Joseph Lokolong.

Police allege the group was involved in a violent gang brawl at O’Callaghan Park in Zillmere on September 13.

The fight resulted in the death of Mr Mekonnen, 19, after he was allegedly bashed and stabbed during the fight.

All 12 men will remain behind bars until their next appearance until November 16.

The Courier Mail reported Makuol, 23, had three outstanding warrants for his arrest when he was taken into custody on Wednesday.

He is also facing multiple charges of breaching his bail.



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Twelve now charged with murder of Girum Mekonnen in Brisbane park


The 10 accused are Anas Ayman Abdu Musa, Joseph Lokolong, Alex Edward Deng, Gabreal Wal, Santo Wal, Chan Kuchmol Kon, Kresto Wal Wal, Yohana Wal Wal, Majok Riel Majok and Juma Makuol Deng Makuol.

They are all aged between 18 and 32.

The men are each charged with murder, 12 counts each of acts intended to cause grievous bodily harm and affray and disobedience to a lawful order.

Mr Mekonnen died following a brawl between two groups at O’Callaghan Park in Zillmere, north of Brisbane, about 5.30pm on Sunday.

The men were arrested after police executed search warrants across Ipswich and south Brisbane on Wednesday. The men live in Redbank Plains, Goodna and Bray Park.

One of the 11 alleged victims remained in hospital in a serious condition on Wednesday, while two others were recovering in a ward.

The police investigation continues.



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Ahmad Doudar jailed for disposal of getaway car used in murder of former bikie boss Mick Hawi


The only man who admitted to helping carry out the daylight murder of former Sydney bikie boss Mick Hawi will be eligible for release from prison in just over a year.

Ahmad Doudar, 40, was dressed in prison greens and sat with his arms folded when he was sentenced to four years and six months in the NSW Supreme Court this morning.

He pleaded guilty to helping get rid of one of the getaway cars used by the balaclava-clad gunman shortly after the shooting outside the Rockdale Fitness First in February 2018.

The former Comanchero boss was getting into his Mercedes four-wheel drive in the car park when he was shot several times and died in hospital four hours later.

According to an agreed statement of facts presented to the court, “the person who shot Mr Hawi was Yusuf Nazlioglu, a close friend of Mr Doudar”.

In handing down the sentence, Justice Hulme said the 37-year-old was driven off in a different getaway car by another man, Jamal Eljaidi.

Mick Hawi’s car outside the Rockdale gym after the shooting.(Supplied: NSW Police)

Both men were found not guilty of murder after facing a separate three-week trial in the Supreme Court last week.

Justice Hulme said “Mr Doudar knew that the vehicle was used by Nazlioglu as a getaway car” and “assisted in the disposal of the car to help Nazlioglu evade justice”.

“The murder itself was horrifying, it was a dangerous and public execution and Mr Doudar knew this…” he said.

“Mr Doudar was well aware the murder was well planned by his associates … his morality was no better than the principal offenders and others involved.”

The court heard Doudar was diagnosed with diabetes earlier this year and has been experiencing “significant distress” and “anxiety” behind bars.

After sentencing Doudar, Justice Hulme offered his “sincere condolences to those who mourn the loss of Mr Hawi”.

Hawi’s widow, Carolina Gonzalez, was in court for the decision, but ignored questions by reporters outside court.

Doudar will be eligible for parole on December 16, 2021.



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Police charge second man over alleged bashing murder of Victor Codea at Adelaide High School


A second man has been charged with murder over the alleged bashing of a man at Adelaide High School last month.

The 24-year-old man from Adelaide’s CBD is expected to face the Adelaide Magistrates Court tomorrow charged with murder.

Police allege Victor Codea, 24, of Ridleyton, was lured to the front car park of Adelaide High School between 9:30pm and 9:40pm on August 28.

Alleged murder victim Victor Codea.(Supplied: SA Police)

Detective Inspector Brett Featherby said four men were present at the time of the assault and Mr Codea was “violently assaulted by three of them”.

“The males left the scene in an older-model sedan and one of Victor’s friends took him to the Royal Adelaide Hospital, where he received emergency surgery,” he said.

“Following the assault, the vehicle was driven back to the Welland shopping centre where it was recovered by police.”

Mr Codea remained in a coma after his surgery. He died from his injuries on September 5.

Earlier this month, a 23-year-old man, also from the CBD, had his charge of aggravated assault causing serious harm upgraded to murder after Mr Codea’s death.

Police say they expect to make further arrests.

Inspector Featherby said police suspected the assailants wrongly believed Mr Codea, who had faced drug charges, was a police informant.

“We believe that he’s actually been wrongly accused of providing information to police and we have no knowledge whatsoever that he’s provided any information to police.”

His Facebook account appears to have been hacked, with his occupation listed as “police informer”.

Police urged anyone who was near Adelaide High School or the Welland Plaza Shopping Centre on the night of August 28 and noticed Mr Codea’s white 2019 Toyota Corolla with South Australian registration S331CAE to contact Crime Stoppers.



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Jury fails to reach verdict in trial of Stacey Wright for Kym Taylor’s murder in Bedfordale bushland


A Supreme Court jury has been unable to reach verdicts in the case of a Perth mother accused of bludgeoning to death an acquaintance she met that day and then leaving her children in the car while she and her father buried the body in secluded bushland at night.

Stacey Lea Wright, 29, had been on trial in the WA Supreme Court for the past three weeks over the death of 37-year-old Kym Taylor, whose body was found in bushland at Bedfordale on Perth’s southern outskirts in November 2018.

Ms Wright’s 48-year-old father William was on trial with her for helping try to cover up the crime.

It was alleged that about three weeks before Ms Taylor’s body was found, Stacey Wright had used a tow ball, or a similar heavy object, to “shatter” Ms Taylor’s skull into 38 pieces.

Prosecutor Paul Usher told the court Ms Wright had spent the day driving her father and Ms Taylor, who had met on social media, around the metropolitan area.

Tow ball allegedly murder weapon

They had ended up in bushland after Ms Wright said she was going to see her boyfriend who was fishing for marron in the Perth Hills, but when they got out of the car, the two women started fighting.

Stacey Wright then allegedly used the tow ball to strike Ms Taylor over the head at least twice.

Ms Taylor’s body was found in bushland at Bedfordale, in Perth’s south-east.(ABC News: Alisha O’Flaherty)

Mr Usher said it was further alleged Ms Wright and her father left the area and picked up her three young children, before returning to the bushland and leaving them in car while they tried to bury Ms Taylor’s body at night.

Both Stacey Wright and her father denied having anything to do with Ms Taylor’s death.

Her lawyer Tom Percy QC said his client maintained the last time she saw Ms Taylor was when she dropped her off in Perth’s southern suburbs, and she was “alive and well”.

Mr Percy said any suggestion Ms Wright bore any ill-will or a grudge towards Ms Taylor was “absolute rubbish”, and she simply did not know anything about how she died.

Child’s evidence ‘vague’

He also claimed the evidence of Ms Wright’s young son, who claimed to have seen his mum and pop with a shovel and flashlights after being taken to a forest at night, was “uncertain and vague”.

In a video recorded interview with police played to the court, William Wright maintained it was “a mate”, whose identity is suppressed, who had killed the 37-year-old while trying to sexually assault her.

A police road block in bushland.
Ms Wright’s young son told police he saw his mother and grandfather with torches and shovel at a forest at night.(ABC News: Alisha O’Flaherty)

He said his daughter had been asleep in the car at the time and did not know anything about what happened.

The jury deliberated for four days, but it was discharged after telling Justice Gail Archer it could not reach verdicts.

Stacey and William Wright now face the prospect of a retrial.

They were remanded in custody until they appear in court next month when a date for a new trial may be set.



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Woman charged over alleged domestic violence axe attack murder of boyfriend in St Marys home


A woman who allegedly killed her boyfriend with an axe inside their townhouse in Western Sydney had been assaulted by him a year earlier.

Naea Moli is accused of stabbing Geo Sione, 35, several times while he was watching a movie in the upstairs bedroom of their St Marys home yesterday afternoon.

CCTV shows the 34-year-old having a cigarette outside the Sydney Street property before catching a taxi to St Marys Police Station, where she was charged with murder.

“She was quite calm, she was lucid, she provided the information and we responded accordingly,” Detective Inspector Jason Pietruszka said.

Mr Sione’s body was found lying on his bed in what police have described as a “horrific” scene.

“They had been together for 10 years, they emigrated from New Zealand and they are known to police,” Detective Inspector Pietruszka said.

“This is a horrific incident, it shows what can happen at its worst regarding domestic violence — we encourage all victims of domestic violence to contact police.”

Geo Sione was stabbed while watching a movie at home.(Supplied)

Detectives have been gathering bags of evidence from the two-storey home, including an axe and blood-stained sheets.

Court documents allege police had recently taken out an apprehended violence order against Ms Moli on behalf of Mr Sione.

The ABC understands Mr Sione was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend about a year before she allegedly murdered him.

Police outside a building
Police cordon off the St Marys townhouse.(ABC News)

Tracey lives across the road and said her son was left extremely anxious after seeing emergency services flooding the area.

“Waking up and seeing the forensic van still there and police cars and news crews pulling up — it was like, ‘Oh my god, this is so real’,” she said.

“As a domestic violence survivor myself, it has left me shaken, shocked — it has hit really close to home.

“It’s very very sad. It just makes you realise that in this day and age you just don’t know what people’s circumstances are, or what happens behind close doors.”

Ms Moli chose not to apply for bail when she faced Penrith Court in a green tracksuit this afternoon.

She remains behind bars and will face court again in November.



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Myanmar soldiers confess to mass murder of Rohingya Muslims in new video: rights group


The footage of the soldiers would represent the first admission by members of Myanmar’s military that a campaign of violence against the minority ethnic group took place in the country’s western Rakhine State. That campaign has previously been described by the United Nations and human rights organizations as having the “hallmarks of genocide.”

The video confessions of Private Myo Win Tun and Private Zaw Naing Tun were filmed in July by the Arakan Army, a rebel group currently in combat with the Myanmar military, and released by the non-government organization Fortify Rights, which says it has analyzed the footage and found it to be credible.

“We destroyed the Muslim villages near Taung Bazar village. We implemented the clearance operations in the night-time as per the command to ‘shoot all that you see and that you hear.’ We buried a total number of 30 dead bodies in one grave,” said Myo Win Tun in his video statement.

CNN has not been able to independently confirm the veracity of the video. It’s unclear if the men made the video confessions under duress, after having been captured, or if they surrendered as deserters.

The two soldiers are believed to now be in the Hague at the International Criminal Court where an investigation into the Rohingya crisis is underway.

“This is a monumental moment for Rohingya and the people of Myanmar in their ongoing struggle for justice,” Matthew Smith, the chief executive officer of Fortify Rights, said in a statement.

CNN has reached out to the Myanmar government and the Arakan Army for comment on the videos and the admissions made by the two soldiers.

From 2016, there have been reports of a campaign of mass violence by Myanmar’s military in the country’s Western Rakhine state, specifically targeting the Muslim minority Rohingya. More than 740,000 refugees poured across the border into Bangladesh, bringing with them allegations of indiscriminate killing, rape and property destruction.
The Myanmar government, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, has vehemently denied the allegations, telling the International Court of Justice in December 2019 that the claims were “incomplete and misleading.”

It maintains the “clearance operations” by the military in Rakhine were legitimate counter-terrorism measures which began in response to a Rohingya attack on a border post which killed nine police officers. Myanmar has denied allegations of brutality.

Myanmar considers the one million or so Rohingya as illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh, despite the fact that many Rohingya families have lived in Rakhine state for generations.

But a UN fact-finding commission described the violence against the Rohingya as “genocide.” Doctors Without Borders has estimated that at least 6,700 Rohingya were killed within the first month of the campaign alone, including 730 children under the age of 5.

Admission of rape

In the two videos released by Fortify Rights, filmed against a dark green plastic sheet, the two uniformed men describe in a matter-of-fact way how they were given orders to kill all Rohingya villagers.

Myo Win Tun said that he was sent on a night raid of a Muslim village in Buthidaung Township in August 2017, where officers told him to kill everyone in order to ensure that the Rohingya “race will be exterminated.”

After destroying the first village, the soldier said his unit of 10 then stayed in the area for two weeks, razing other nearby settlements. “We buried a total of 30 dead bodies in one grave … eight women, seven children, 15 men and elderly,” Myo Win Tun said in the video.

He said his unit raped women before shooting them and admits to raping one woman himself. “We shot and buried people in village after village. It would be around 60 to 70 people in total,” Myo Win Tun said.

In Zaw Naing Tun’s video, he admitted to working with the 353th Light Infantry Battalion to wipe out “about 20 Muslim villages.” “We shot dead and wiped them out according to the order to kill all, irrespective of children or adults,” he said in the video.

Zaw Naing Tun said they had buried about 80 Muslim villagers in mass graves, stealing money, gold and mobile phones from their shops and houses after killing them, among other items. He also said he stood watch while his superiors raped women.

No member of the Myanmar military has previously admitted to widespread violence against the Rohingya in Rakhine state in 2016 and 2017. Very few members of the military have been prosecuted for killings in the region — seven soldiers were imprisoned in Myanmar in 2018 for a massacre at Inn Din village in Western Rakhine state, after it was exposed by Reuters.
An investigation by Myanmar released in January found that some war crimes had been committed in Rakhine state, however it added prosecutions were ongoing and there was no “genocidal intent.”

International Criminal Court

Shortly after the alleged confessions were filmed, the two soldiers appeared on the border between Bangladesh and Myanmar in August.

Fortify Rights said that it believes the two soldiers from the videos are now in the custody of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Dutch city of The Hague, potentially opening the possibility for their testimony to be used in a future case against the Myanmar government.

“These men could be the first perpetrators from Myanmar tried at the ICC, and the first insider witnesses in the custody of the court. We expect prompt action,” CEO Smith said in a statement.

The ICC would not confirm to CNN that Zaw Naing Tun and Myo Win Tun were in custody.

“The ICC investigation is a confidential matter, all I can confirm is that two individuals appeared at a border post in Bangladesh, requested protection and confessed to mass murder and rape of Rohingya civilians during the 2017 clearance operations in Rakhine State,” said Payam Akhavan, International legal counsel for Bangladesh and a former UN prosecutor.

A still image of a video filmed by the Arakan Army in July with Myanmar Private Zaw Naing Tun.

“They claimed to have been members of the Myanmar military forces during that period and acting on orders from senior military commanders. Bangladesh informed the International Criminal Court, consistent with its obligations … I am not able to confirm either their identity or their location,” he said.

One Rohingya still inside Rakhine state, who asked to use the pseudonym Edin Hussein to avoid future persecution, said that the videos were a huge development which had made people “extremely happy.”

“We have no words to describe how much we are happy that the two former militaries will be in ICJ to confess all the atrocities committed against Rohingyas by (the Myanmar military),” he said.

“Our people could not collect much evidence as they were shooting us on sight and most of our people rather had to flee and save life than facing the guns … Finally we see a hope that the genocidaires will get punished for their crimes.”



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Double murder accused seeks bail to help prepare his own defence


He wants bail, partly because it is difficult preparing his defence while on remand in jail. He told the Supreme Court on Monday he had been refused access to the library in Port Phillip Prison and could not speak to defence witnesses because prisoners’ telephone calls were recorded.

“How can I be expected to prepare for my case?” he said during his bail application, representing himself.

“I just cannot believe that a person can get a fair trial before a jury with all these restrictions.”

Justice Paul Coghlan accepted it was difficult for a prisoner to prepare his own defence but said it was the accused man’s choice not to hire a lawyer. He urged Mr Cohrs to consider getting legal advice.

“You would be much better off being represented,” Justice Coghlan said.

“I have been doing this stuff for 50 years and I think a case as hard as these cases are make it terribly, terribly difficult for people to represent themselves, to the point of impossibility.”

Mr Cohrs said the failure of prison authorities to arrange for him to face court hearings had also caused great stress, to the point he had a heart attack.

His health concerns are among additional grounds for him seeking bail, along with the risk of contracting coronavirus in prison, the delay he faces before trial, his good character and because he needs to care for his wife. His trial won’t start until next year.

Prosecutors oppose bail because they say the case against Mr Cohrs is very strong, the charges very serious and that if released he would be a risk of offending and to the public.

Mr Cohrs told the court he hoped to win a civil case before his first murder trial, and that freeing up $2 million of his assets would allow him to hire the lawyers he wanted and grant him access to evidence that could be used in the criminal proceedings.

Mr Cohrs is yet to lodge a defence to the first murder charge but told the court he was under a lot of pressure from family members and was the subject of “mental torment”. He asked Justice Coghlan if the lines of mental impairment and the related automatism, and “defence of another” were available.

The judge replied they were but said, “I never say never but they don’t look likely in your case.”

Mr Cohrs said he only wanted to spend time with his immediate family if bailed.

“There is no way I am going jeopardise spending one more minute with my family. My main goal now is to secure the financial viability for my family. That’s my pledge to the court,” he said.

Justice Coghlan will rule next Monday.

Police allege Mr Cohrs murdered his brother in the NSW town of Rufus and drove about 100 kilometres to Red Cliffs, near Mildura, where he allegedly murdered his mother. Police say he then returned to NSW, where he was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was airlifted to hospital in Melbourne and later charged.

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Wrestler Navid Afkari executed by Iran after forced murder confession



Iranian wrestler Navid Afkari has been executed after being convicted of stabbing a security guard to death during anti-government protests in 2018.

The case led to an international outcry which included US President Donald Trump calling for the 27-year-old’s life to be spared.

Afkari was executed Saturday morning (local time) “after legal procedures were carried out at the insistence of the parents and the family of the victim”, Iranian state media quoted the head of the justice department in southern Fars province, Kazem Mousavi, as saying.

The Greco-Roman wrestler was convicted of killing Hassan Turkman, a water company security guard.

Iran’s Supreme Court rejected a review of the case in late August after Afkari’s family and activists said he was tortured into making a false confession.

Afkari’s lawyer said there was no proof of his guilt and accused authorities of denying his client a family visit before the execution, as required by law.

“Were you in so much hurry to execute the sentence that you also deprived Navid of a last meeting?” Hassan Younesi posted on Twitter.

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There was no immediate reaction by Iranian officials to the attorney’s accusation.

On Tuesday, the World Players Association, a global union representing 85,000 athletes, called for Iran’s expulsion from world sport if it executed Afkari.

The killing of the security guard took place during some of the worst unrest in a decade over economic hardships.

Iran’s clerical rulers have blamed the street protests on what they call “thugs” linked to exiles as well as the United States and Israel.

Iranian state television aired a video last week in which Afkari appeared to confess to Turkman’s killing.

The television also showed what appeared to be written confessions by Afkari, but he said in a recording circulated on social media that he was coerced into signing the documents.

“I hit twice, once and then again,” Afkari was shown saying with a stabbing gesture during a police reconstruction of the killing.

Human rights groups frequently accuse Iran’s state media of airing coerced confessions. Iran denies the accusation.

Reuters



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