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National Govt & Politics
U.S. diplomat: Trump wanted Ukraine to announce 2016 investigations in exchange for military aid
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U.S. diplomat: Trump wanted Ukraine to announce 2016 investigations in exchange for military aid

U.S. diplomat: Trump wanted Ukraine to announce 2016 investigations in exchange for military aid

U.S. diplomat: Trump wanted Ukraine to announce 2016 investigations in exchange for military aid

The current acting Ambassador in Ukraine told lawmakers on Tuesday that U.S. military aid to Ukraine was held up by the White House in an effort to pressure Ukraine to publicly announce investigations which could benefit the re-election campaign of President Donald Trump, a charge the White House has repeatedly denied.

"President Trump did insist that President Zelenskyy go to a microphone and say he is opening investigations of Biden and 2016 election interference," William Taylor said in a 15 page opening statement.

Taylor said he was told by Gordon Sondland, the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union, that President Zelenskyy should make the announcement of the election investigations on CNN.

In his testimony, Taylor repeated for lawmakers what he had put in a text message to Sondland, that the idea of 'holding up security assistance for domestic political gain was 'crazy.'"

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U.S. diplomat: Trump wanted Ukraine to announce 2016 investigations in exchange for military aid

While President Trump said there was no quid pro quo of any kind, Taylor said that's clear what was going on.

"By mid-July it was becoming clear to me that the meeting President Zelenskyy wanted (with President Trump) was conditioned on the investigations of Burisma and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections," Taylor told lawmakers.

Burisma is the company which involves Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden. The other request was related to President Trump's belief that the DNC server hacked by Russia in 2016 was somehow being hidden in Ukraine.

Democrats said the testimony was dramatic.

"Trump committed a blatantly impeachable act and lied about it," said Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).

“In my ten short months in Congress, this is my most disturbing day in Congress so far,” said Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI), after listening to testimony delivered by Taylor on Tuesday morning.

“This testimony is a sea change," said Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA). "I think it could accelerate matters."

At the White House, President Trump made no statement to reporters, as his Press Secretary stepped in to knock down the Taylor testimony.

“President Trump has done nothing wrong — this is a coordinated smear campaign from far-left lawmakers and radical unelected bureaucrats waging war on the Constitution,” said Stephanie Grisham.

“There was no quid pro quo,” she added. ““Today was just more triple hearsay.”

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  • A 37-year-old Black Diamond, Washington, man is accused of using chloroform and acetone on his 13-year-old stepdaughter, prosecutors said. >> Read more trending news  On Oct. 12, investigators said a Black Diamond police officer responded to a report of CPR being performed on a 13-year-old girl who was unconscious and not breathing.  When the officer arrived at the scene, a woman at the home told the officer that her granddaughter wasn’t breathing and that her son was with her. The officer saw the girl’s stepfather, Allen Bittner, next to the teen on the ground. The officer moved the teen onto her side and she started vomiting onto the floor. Medics then arrived to treat the teen. She was later taken to Seattle Children’s Hospital and admitted in pediatric intensive care on a breathing tube, prosecutors said. According to charging documents, Bittner explained that “he had been giving his daughter a ‘breathing treatment’ and she had lost consciousness,” and he told the officer that he used a liquid that he had put on a cloth for her to inhale.” The officer retrieved an empty bottle and the cloth, which appeared to be soaked with a liquid and had a very strong chemical solvent odor. Bittner told the officer that the “breathing treatment” was a liquid chemical that he used when he was in the Navy to “open the airway and kill bacteria,” prosecutors said. He also mentioned that the teen had shortness of breath, was interested in singing and wanted to improve her breathing. He told the officer that he used it for himself and that he got the chemical from a man who worked with him at Boeing, according to investigators. Bittner said he didn’t know what the chemical was or where the man had obtained it. On Oct. 18, police received a report from the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab on tests done on the liquid from the bottle and the cloth. According to prosecutors, it determined the presence of chloroform and acetone from both samples. Charging documents said a search warrant was obtained for Bittner’s cellphone and laptop, and it was discovered that there were several internet searches about how to manufacture chloroform and the effects of it. On Nov. 10, Bittner was arrested and later booked into the King County Jail. He was charged with second-degree assault, domestic violence.
  • A Florida woman was accused of animal cruelty after investigators found seven malnourished horses at her house. One of the animals later died. >> Read more trending news  Investigators were notified about the horses Oct. 24 and met with Nicole Hutchins, 32, in an attempt to improve the animals’ conditions, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office said.  However, deputies and Pasco County Fire Rescue workers were called back to Hutchins’ home Wednesday to help with a horse that was unable to get up. The horse later died. Investigators took custody of the remaining six horses and will petition the court for possession of them in order to auction them.  Hutchins was arrested and charged with animal cruelty. 
  • Tilli Buchanan and her husband were sweaty and itchy after spending the day installing insulation in their Utah garage, so they stripped off their long-sleeved shirts to cool down, according to her attorneys. More than a year later -- though that timeline is in some dispute -- Buchanan, 27, of West Valley City, finds herself in court, fighting lewdness charges filed against her in February because her young stepchildren saw her topless. If convicted of the three Class A misdemeanor charges against her, Buchanan could serve jail time and be forced to register as a sex offender for the next decade, the Salt Lake Tribune reported. Her husband, who was also shirtless, has not been charged with a crime. “If we are to lose this, she’s on the sex registry with child rapists and things of that nature,” her attorney, Randy Richards, told reporters. “The magnitude of the penalty on this is enormous.” Buchanan, who is also being represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, was in court for a hearing on Tuesday, at which time her attorneys argued that Utah’s lewdness act is unconstitutional because it treats men and women differently. “What’s important to look at, to see, when you look at the statute, is there’s part of it that says this part of a woman is found inherently obscene and this part of a man isn’t,” ACLU attorney Leah Farrell told reporters after the hearing. “And that really sets up an unequal, unfair dichotomy.” District Judge Kara Pettit declined to rule from the bench, saying “it’s too important of an issue” for an immediate judgment, the Deseret News reported. Pettit said she would hand down a decision sometime within the next two months. According to Utah’s law against lewdness involving a child, a person can be convicted if he or she exposes his or her genitals, buttocks, anus or pubic area, or the female breast “below the top of the areola,” in front of a child. The law applies if the person does this in public or “in a private place under circumstances the person should know will likely cause affront or alarm or with the intent to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of the actor or the child.” Farrell said that standard is unfair to women because they have to do “mental calculus” to determine if going topless will cause alarm, while that same burden is not placed on men, the News reported. West Valley Deputy City Attorney Corey Sherwin, who is prosecuting Buchanan’s case, told the newspaper that Utah laws do not target women, but said nudity is understood to not only include “lower parts of the body” but also the female breast. He said the lewdness statute applies only to those who intentionally expose themselves around children. In court paperwork obtained by the Tribune, Sherwin argued that Buchanan stripped down in front of the children, boys ages 13 and 9 and a 10-year-old girl, after stating that, if her husband could go shirtless, she should be able to, as well. The documents alleged Buchanan, who Sherwin claimed was “under the influence of alcohol,” later told her husband she would only put her shirt back on if he showed her his penis, the Tribune said. The incident took place in late 2017 or early 2018, according to prosecutors. Buchanan said, however, that it may have taken place as early as the fall of 2016. >> Read more trending news  The Tribune reported that authorities became involved earlier this year during a Division of Child and Family Services investigation that did not involve Buchanan. The incident came to light during that unrelated probe and the children’s mother called police, saying she was alarmed by what had happened in front of the kids. Buchanan’s recollection of the incident differs greatly from the claims made by prosecutors. She said that, when the children came downstairs to find her without a shirt, she used the moment as a teaching experience for her stepchildren. She said she pointed out to the children that they were not made uncomfortable by their father’s bare chest. “This isn’t a sexual thing,” she recalled telling the children, according to the Tribune. “I should be able to wear exactly what my husband wears. You shouldn’t be embarrassed about this.” Listen to Tilli Buchanan speak following her court hearing below, courtesy of KSL in Salt Lake City. Richards argued earlier this year that Buchanan should not face charges for being shirtless in her own home while her husband escapes punishment or condemnation for the same behavior. “The fact that this was in the privacy of one’s own home is real troubling,” Richards told the Tribune in September. “Different people have different moral positions as far as nudity.” Richards’ argument has been based largely on a February opinion by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit Court, which upheld a lower court ruling that a Fort Collins, Colorado, ordinance banning women from going topless violated their 14th Amendment guarantee of equal protection under the law. Fox13 in Salt Lake City reported in September that the court narrowed its ruling in the case, Free the Nipple Fort Collins v. City of Fort Collins, to address solely the Fort Collins ordinance. West Valley City prosecutors cited that narrow scope during arguments in Buchanan’s case, arguing that the “Free the Nipple” ruling is more narrow than the ACLU might like. Read the court ruling in full below. Free the Nipple v Fort Collins by National Content Desk on Scribd The ruling, which made headlines nationwide, is slowly making its mark on other Utah cases, however. FOX 13 reported that attorneys with clients facing lewdness charges have begun citing the appeals court ruling in their own arguments. Buchanan said she was devastated by the criminal charges filed against her. “The moment I took to teach the kids, it was kind of smashed,” she told the Tribune. “Like you can’t teach kids this. In fact, you’re going to be charged for even bringing this up.” After Tuesday’s hearing, Buchanan told reporters she is hopeful at least a portion of the state’s lewdness law will be struck down. “Especially given it was in the privacy of my own home, my husband was right next to me, in the exact same manner that I was, and he’s not being prosecuted for it,” Buchanan said.
  • A former National Security Council official and a diplomat who says he overheard a conversation between President Donald Trump and ambassador Gordon Sondland are scheduled to testify Thursday in the week’s final impeachment inquiry hearing. >> Read more trending news  The testimony of Fiona Hill and David Holmes comes a day after Sondland offered explosive testimony in which he said he, Kurt Volker and Energy Secretary Rick Perry worked with Rudy Giuliani to pursue a 'quid pro quo' with Ukraine, dangling a possible White House meeting between Trump and the Ukrainian president in exchange for an announcement that Ukraine was to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. According to Sondland, a second investigation into Ukraine-backed interference in the 2016 presidential election was also on the table. Hill, who testified in a closed-door session that she had concerns about Giuliani, and Holmes, who told Ukraine charge d’affaires William Taylor that he overheard a phone conversation between Sondland and Trump, will testify before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence beginning at 9 a.m. Livestream See the livestream below when the hearing starts. Live updates The public hearings are over 4:20 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: Schiff has gaveled the hearing closed, and, so far, there is no word on anymore scheduled public hearings. Congress will be on Thanksgiving recess next week. When they come back, Democrats are expected to decide on articles of impeachment. Closing statements 3:50 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: The members of the committee have completed their questioning. Now, Nunes and Schiff will have closing statements. Nunes is giving a timeline of attacks against Trump dating back to 2015. Was there an investigation; did they meet? 3 p.m. ET Nov. 20, 2019: Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-New York, thanks Hill for her comments about personal attacks she has been under. Stefanik eventually asks Hill and Holmes if Ukraine received military aid. Yes, they both say. Was there an investigation into the Bidens? No, both answered. Did Trump meet with Zelensky at the U.N.? Yes, they said, though Holmes points out it was not in the Oval Office. Hill answers Weinstrup 2:15 p.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: After a Rep. Brad Weinstrup, R-Ohio, talks about how divisive the country has become because of the hearings, Hill urges the members of the committee and the American people to put aside partisan issues. “We need to be together again in 2020 so the American people can make a choice about the future and make their vote without any fear” that foreign countries are interfering in the election, Hill says. There wasn't a yelling match 1:45 p.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: Sondland testified on Wednesday that a July 10 White House meeting had dissolved into a shouting match. “There was no yelling or shouting,” Hill says. “That’s some embellishment... Sondland was in an exchange with Vindman... ‘we have an agreement to have a meeting’.” “When I came in (to the Ward Room in the White House), Gordon Sondland was basically saying look, I have a deal with chief of staff Mulvaney that we have a meeting if the Ukrainians announce investigations of Burisma... “I cut it off right there... it was clear then that Burisma was code for the Bidens... “So I cut off this line and I said to Ambassador Sondland look... we have to properly prepare this... and we really shouldn’t be talking about this in front of our colleagues from Ukraine... “We asked our colleagues to wait outside of the door in the corridor. “I pushed back on ambassador Sondland. “Ambassador Sondland then said OK, fair enough. Ambassador Volker didn’t say anything at this particular juncture.” Vindman’s judgment 1:40 p.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: Castor asks Hill about Tim Morrison’s testimony earlier this week that Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s judgment was in question.  Vindman, while “excellent at his job,” did not have the political experience to handle the informal policy channel that was forming about Ukraine, Hill said. “That does not mean in any way that I was questioning his overall judgment or his expertise. He is excellent... this is a very different issue.”  Does Holmes know Lutschenko? 1:20 p.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: Nunes asks Holmes if he knows journalist and former legislator Sergey Lutschenko. Holmes says yes. Nunes asks if he knows that Lutschenko produced the “black ledger” which allegedly contained damaging information against Trump. Holmes said, yes. Nunes asks Holmes if the black ledger is credible. Holmes said it is. Nunes says Robert Mueller did not consider it credible. Holmes: “I’m not aware that Bob Mueller did not find it credible,” but it was used as evidence in other criminal proceedings. Nunes: Didn’t Lutschenko want to hurt Trump? Holmes: “He has not said that to me. If he said that to you I’ll take your word for it.” Who put you in charge? 1:15 p.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: Castor asks her about Sondland. Hill said she dealt with him as she worked on Ukraine matters as EU and Ukraine matters overlap. “It was perfectly logical that Ambassador Sondland would play some kind of role” on Ukraine, she said. However, Sondland seemed to be inserting himself in different matters, so she asked him what was going on. “I asked him quite bluntly” about his role, Hill said. “He said he was in charge of Ukraine, and I said ‘who put you in charge?’ and he said ‘the president’.” Nunes asks about the Steele dossier 1:09 p.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: Nunes questions Hill and Holmes. He asks Hill if she knows Christopher Steele. Yes, she had met with him. Did she know of the Steele dossier and had she seen it before it was published. Yes, she said, a colleague at the Brookings Institute shared it with her the day before it was published.  Did she know who paid for it? Fusion GPS, Hill said. Nunes asks if she actually knows who commissioned it. She said she knew through the media that the Democratic National Committee had paid Fusion GPS for it. The hearing is set to resume 12:51 p.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: After an extended break allowing members to vote, the hearing looks set to resume. The hearing is recessed for a break 11:05 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: They are taking a break to vote on the House floor. The ‘drug deal’ quote 11 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: Hill said she was told by Bolton after a July 10 meeting that she needed to go to John Eisenberg, White House counsel, and tell him that he, Bolton, was in “no way a part of this ‘drug deal’ that Sondland and Mulvaney had cooked up.” ‘A hand grenade' 10:50 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: Hill, who worked closely with former chief of staff John Bolton, said she talked to him about Yovanovitch’s dismissal, with the help of Giuliani. “Ambassador Bolton had looked pained, indicated with body language that there was nothing he could do about it” then said, “Mr. Giuliani is a hand grenade that is going to blow everyone up.” Goldman asked her what that meant.  “That Mr. Giuliani was pushing views that would probably come back to haunt us, and that’s where we are today,” Hill said. ‘Predicated on other issues’ 10:40 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: Hill is asked about the July 25 call and notes that she left the White House before the call took place. However, she said, “In the months leading up” to it, “it became very clear the White House meeting itself was being predicated on other issues, namely investigations and the questions about the election interference in 2016.” She said she found the call ‘surprising.” Hearing the phone call 10:30 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: Goldman asks Holmes about the phone call and how Holmes was able to hear it. Holmes describes the call that happened on the terrace of a restaurant in Kyiv. Holmes said he heard Trump’s loud and distinctive voice and that Sondland held the phone out from his ear because the volume was so loud. What did he hear, Goldman asked. “He clarified whether he (Sondland) was in Ukraine... he said, ‘is he gonna do the investigation.” “You heard that,” Goldman asked. “Yes, sir.” “What was Sondland’s response?” “He said oh yeah, he’s gonna do it, he’ll do anything you ask.” Was the phone unsecured, Goldman asked. It was, said Holmes. Hill warns of Russian interests10:15 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: “I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests,” Hill said. “I say this not as an alarmist, but as a realist. … Right now, Russia’s security services and their proxies have geared up to repeat their interference in the 2020 election. We are running out of time to stop them. In the course of this investigation, I would ask that you please not promote politically driven falsehoods that so clearly advance Russian interests.” The aid and the phone call 10 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: Holmes said he agrees with Taylor and Yovanovitch’s testimony. He goes on to talk about the hold on military aid. “My clear impression was that the hold was intended by the president either as an expression of dissatisfaction … or as an attempt to increase the pressure on them to do so.” The phone call he said he heard happened on July 26. He said about it: “During the lunch, Ambassador Sondland said that he was going to call President Trump to give him an update. Ambassador Sondland placed a call on his mobile phone, and I heard him announce himself several times, along the lines of: Gordon Sondland holding for the President. “It appeared that he was being transferred through several layers of switchboards and assistants. I then noticed Ambassador Sondland’s demeanor change, and understood that he had been connected to President Trump. “While Ambassador Sondland’s phone was not on speaker phone, I could hear the President’s voice through the ear piece of the phone. The President’s voice was very loud and recognizable, and Ambassador Sondland held the phone away from his ear for a period of time, presumably because of the loud volume. I heard Ambassador Sondland greet the President and explain that he was calling from Kyiv. I heard President Trump then clarify that Ambassador Sondland was in Ukraine. Ambassador Sondland replied yes, he was in Ukraine, and went on to state that President Zelensky, quote, unquote, loves your ass. I then heard President Trump ask, quote, “So he’s going to do the investigation?” unquote. Ambassador Sondland replied that, “He’s going to do it,” adding that President Zelensky will quote, “Do anything you ask him to.” Giuliani took ‘active role’ 9:50 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: Holmes said of Sondland, “He made clear that he had direct and frequent access to president Trump and chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.” He went on to say that Giuliani took an active role when it came to Ukraine. “Over the following months, it became apparent that Mr. Giuliani had a direct influence on the policy that the three amigos (Sondland, Rick Perry, and Kirk Volker) were executing on the ground in Ukraine,” Holmes said. Holmes goes first 9:40 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: Holmes gives his opening statement first and says he did not seek to testify but was subpoenaed. He said his goal is to testify truthfully. He talks about his work. 'My entire career has been in the service of my country,' he says. He was Marie Yovanovitch's top political adviser. He says a political agenda by Rudy Giuliani 'dramatically changed' the atmosphere at the U.S. embassy.  He talks about the effort to remove Yovanovitch from her post. He again blames Giuliani for promoting falsehoods about Yovanovitch. He also talks about Giuliani's comments about Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, and the Bidens. More hearings? 9:30 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: Nunes calls for a 'minority day of hearings.' The hearing has started 9:07 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: Schiff is giving his opening statement. He immediately begins to talk about Gordon Sondland's testimony. “Trump put his personal and political interest above the United States,' Schiff said. Nunes claims it's the Democrats who got caught doing something wrong, not President Trump.  'They got caught trying to obtain nude photos of President Trump from Russian pranksters,' he said. Ready to go any moment 9 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: The committee members are getting into place and the hearing room is filling up. Just waiting for Hill and Holmes to take their seats. Starting soon 8:45 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: The hearing will begin in 15 minutes. Hill and Holmes have arrived on Capitol Hill. The rules 8:30 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: There will be opening statements from Hill, Holmes, committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-California, and Rep. Devin Nunes, R-California, who is the committee’s ranking member. Then, there will be 45 minutes for the committee’s counsel – Steve Castor for the Republicans and Daniel Goldman for the Democrats. Then, the members of the committee will have five minutes each to question Hill and Holmes. What will they be asked about 8:15 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: Both Hill and Holmes have testified in closed-door sessions. Hill will likely be asked about a July 10 meeting where EU ambassador Gordon Sondland suggested that there should be investigations into Joe and Hunter Biden and the 2016 presidential election. Holmes says he overheard a cellphone conversation between Sondland and Trump on July 26. Let’s get started 8 a.m. ET Nov. 21, 2019: Good morning and welcome to live updates from the fifth public hearing of the impeachment inquiry. The hearing begins in an hour, at 9 a.m. ET. Testifying today will be former National Security Council official Fiona Hill and David Holmes, a diplomat at the U.S. embassy in Kyiv.
  • A 63-year-old man accused of shooting and killing two teens on his West Dayton property was indicted Thursday on charges of murder and felonious assault, which comes after months of public outcry over a lack of an arrest and criminal prosecution in the killings. >> Read more trending news  Victor Santana, who owned the home at 848 Conner St., has been indicted by a Montgomery County grand jury for fatally shooting 17-year-old Dayton residents Devin Henderson and Javier Harrison. “The evidence in this case does not demonstrate a reasonable claim of self-defense,” Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said. Santana is in the Montgomery County Jail following his arrest on a warrant Thursday. Santana faces four counts of murder, five counts of felonious assault and one count of attempt to commit murder. Henderson, 17, of Dayton, died after being shot twice in the back in a garage at 848 Conners St., according to crime scene and autopsy photos and Montgomery County Coroner’s Office records. Harrison, also 17, was struck by gunfire in his back, arm and thigh, the records show. Prosecutors announced they will seek a high bond for Santana from the judge, because Santana has multiple residences in the U.S., including in New Mexico and California. In September, Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Greg Flannagan said Dayton Police Department investigators met with a panel of assistant prosecuting attorneys and reviewed the evidence in the case. “It was agreed by everyone that additional investigation needs to be completed before a formal filing of charges,” Flannagan said at the time. “The investigators will notify us when the investigation is complete in order to set a date to present the filing.” Linda Henderson, Devin Henderson’s mother, said it was heartbreaking to learn her son and his friend were shot in the back. “That’s bad news for any parent to hear,” she said. “To me, it seems like they were just trying to get away.” Dayton police Chief Richard Biehl on multiple occasions has said a new state law shifts the burden of proof in self-defense cases from the defendant to the prosecutors, which could affect this case. “The burden is on the state to prove this was not self-defense — it’s a high standard,” Biehl said. At about 9:30 p.m. Aug. 28, a resident of the home at 848 Conners St. says he heard noises and voices outside and saw a light from a car in his garage, police said. The man, who authorities have not identified, encountered three individuals and fired multiple shots from a .38-caliber pistol, police said. Henderson and Harrison were shot and killed, and the third individual, 19-year-old Jashin Gibson, fled but then returned when police and fire crews arrived on scene, police said. Gibson was arrested for breaking and entering. Gibson was booked in the Montgomery County Jail on a probation violation related to a robbery conviction, but was no longer there Thursday. Police said the detached garage was unsecured and open. The garage is about 15 feet from the home. Henderson was struck by two bullets in the back, according to coroner records and photos. One struck the left side of his upper back, and the other struck the right side, around the shoulder blade. Crime scene photographs show Henderson’s body wedged between the far wall of the garage and a silver Lincoln Continental. Harrison was struck by a bullet in the mid-section of the left back. It exited his chest and was recovered from his clothing, the initial autopsy report states. He also was hit in the thigh and the left forearm, with the bullet exiting through his elbow. Harrison’s body was found in the grass outside the garage, with his feet by the entryway, according to crime scene photos. The shooter called 911 to report the incident. He put the pistol down on his front porch before emergency responders arrived. Attorney Michael Wright, who is representing Harrison’s family, said it’s “somewhat obvious” that the shooting was not in self-defense. “We believe that they probably shouldn’t have been in the garage; however, they shouldn’t have been killed for being in the garage,” he said. In August, Biehl said it was tragic that two teens lost their lives, and police were consulting with prosecutors about the case. Biehl said it will be up to prosecutors to determine if it was a justifiable case of self-defense or a criminal act. Under a new state law, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person who uses deadly force did not do so in self-defense, defense of another or defense of the person’s residence. The burden used to be on the defendant to prove they acted in self-defense. Biehl said there was evidence of some drug activity taking place in the garage. Harrison’s father, Jimmy Harrison, previously said the boys sometimes went to the property to smoke marijuana. Henderson’s mother said the boys had gone to the property multiple times before. She said the shooter should have called the police when he heard noises outside or fire a warning shot. “I’m hearing this today that my son was shot twice in the back, and that little boy three times — that’s not right at all,” Linda Henderson said. “They didn’t have a chance.” She said she wants justice for her son, who was a twin, and for Harrison and his family.
  • A man recently found a six-foot tusk from a wooly mammoth while walking along an Alaskan beach. >> Read more trending news  Raymond Hunt, 27, saw only a few inches of what looked like a black pipe sticking out of the sand in Shaktoolik when he realized it was a tusk, likely from a woolly mammoth, KTUU reported. “It’s the first time I found one,” Hunt told KTUU. “I’ve got the tusk fever!” Hunt plans to sell the tusk, which is estimated to be worth about $5,000, to pay for winter fuel, food and snow-machine parts, KTUU reported.