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(Chicago Police Department) R. Kelly, seen in his mugshot after surrendering to Chicago police on Feb. 22, 2019, has been indicted on 10 counts of felony criminal sexual abuse. (CHICAGO) -- A Chicago judge ordered $1 million bond for R. Kelly on Saturday after the singer was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse.

Cook County Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke Jr. also ordered Kelly to turn in his passport and forbade contact with the singer's alleged victims. Kelly was indicted on Friday for a decade of sexual assault and abuse against four victims, three of whom were under the age of 17. Bail was set for $250,000 for each case.

Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg told ABC News outside of the courtroom that his client is strapped for cash and cannot afford the $100,000 bond to get out this weekend.

Kelly did not react during the hearing. He sat with a straight look on his face, wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with his hands crossed behind his back throughout the hearing. Kelly only spoke with his lawyer while Lyke reviewed the charges, calling the prosecutors' claims “disturbing.”

Greenberg told the judge his client wasn’t a flight risk because “contrary to the song ['I Believe I Can Fly'], he doesn’t like to fly” Greenberg added: “He can’t go anywhere anyways. He’s a recognizable person.”

Kelly’s “finances are a mess,” citing a child support judgement and no ability to generate residuals, said Greenberg. He's expected back in court on Feb. 25.

The 52-year old embattled star, whose given name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, had turned himself into Chicago police late Friday. A booking photo showed Kelly in a black hooded sweatshirt sporting a salt-and-pepper beard.

Kelly's supporters Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, who are living with the singer, attended the hearing. Parents of both women, claimed in the Lifetime series Surviving R. Kelly, that Kelly is holding their daughters against the women's will. The three-part documentary chronicled decades of troubling allegations and brought renewed media attention and scrutiny on the singer.

The women initially sat one row in front of Azriel’s father, Angelo Clary, who tried to speak with them. They both ignored him, never acknowledging him or even turning around. Then they changed seats, moving one row ahead to avoid him. Avenatti, who said he has six clients related to Kelly, comforted Azriel’s mother after they were rejected by their daughter.

Several other people -- men and women -- stood in the last two rows in support of Kelly.

Jerhonda Pace -- one of Kelly's accusers -— was also in attendance.

The alleged criminal behavior dates back to May 1998 and continued until January 2010, Cook County State's Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx announced at a press conference on Friday. The indictment details accounts of vaginal and oral penetration of and ejaculation onto the victims by the singer.

"Aggravated criminal sexual abuse is a Class 2 felony with a sentencing range of 3-7 years and is probationable," Foxx's office wrote in a statement.

Michael Avenatti, left the courthouse in a black SUV seeming optimistic that Kelly will "spend the rest of his life" in prison.

"With a conviction in this case, he is never going to walk free another day of his life especially with a mandatory minimum sentence," said Avenatti.

Late Friday, Kelly's lawyer called the accusers liars.

"I think all the women are lying," Greenberg told reporters at a press conference. "This has become, 'Hey, R. Kelly -- I can say R. Kelly did something' -- boom."

Greenberg also said that in indicting Kelly, Foxx caved into public pressure.

"I had a discussion with the state's attorney’s office earlier this week [and] we were supposed to meet next week and have a discussion about what they had," he said. "I was gonna be allowed to address what they had, then they just decided to indict him today for whatever reason. I suspect this is succumbing to public pressure."

Greenberg also claimed one of the victims is the same person in a 2003 child pornography case in which Kelly was acquitted in 2008.

"One of the cases seems to be a rehash he was acquitted for. Double jeopardy should apply to everyone," Greenberg said.

During the hearing prosecutors told the judge there is no case of double jeopardy involving the victim from Kelly’s previous acquittal because "it is not the same video."

Kelly is also facing at least three different federal investigations including at least one focusing on his alleged relationships with underage girls, who may have been trafficked, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News.

The FBI, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the IRS have opened investigations after Surviving R. Kelly, which aired on Lifetime starting Jan. 3.

All three agencies declined to comment.

HSI is looking at potential crimes involving sex trafficking and child exploitation. The investigations were first reported in The New Yorker, by Jim DeRogatis, who has been reporting on R. Kelly for almost 20 years.

On Thursday, two more women, Latresa Scaff and Rochelle Washington, said they were victims of R. Kelly. Their attorney, Gloria Allred, said the women spoke with federal prosecutors.

"Yesterday, I indicated that my two clients who held a press conference here in New York would be speaking to law enforcement, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, and they did in fact have that interview," Allred told WABC.

In addition, Michael Avenatti, who is representing two alleged victims of Kelly, said he gave Cook County prosecutors a video depicting the singer allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old.

"Earlier this month we uncovered and recovered a video tape of over 40 minutes in length," Avenatti said at a press conference Friday. "We promptly brought it to the attention of Ms. Foxx and others in her office. This tape leaves no question as to whether R. Kelly is guilty of multiple sexual illegal acts against a 14-year-old girl. The tape was shot in the late '90s, approximately 1999, [and] it depicts two separate scenes shot on two separate days within Mr. Kelly's residence at the time."

"Repeatedly on the video both the victim and Mr. Kelly refer to the victim's age as being 14," Avenatti said. "That occurs in excess of 10 separate times on the video, both the victim and Mr. Kelly can be heard referencing her age."

Greenberg said he hadn't seen the video, but denied the allegation.

"Unfortunately, the state's attorney now succumbed to public pressure, to pressure from grandstanders like Michael Avenatti," Greenberg said.

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Mateusz Atroszko/iStock(HOUSTON) -- A twin-engine cargo plane crashed into a bay near Houston, Texas, Saturday afternoon, officials said.

The Boeing 767 jetliner, which was flying from Miami to Houston, crashed into the Trinity Bay near Anahuac just before 1 p.m., officials said.

"This information is preliminary and subject to change," said Lynn Lunsford, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Flight 3591, operated Atlas Air Inc., went off radar and lost radio contact about 30 miles from Houston's George Bush International Airport, according to an FAA alert.

Investigators from the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were headed to the scene. The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation.

Initial reports indicate that three people were on board.

The Chambers County Sheriff's Office said deputies were responding to the scene, too.

“A commercial airplane crashed in trinity river near Anahuac,” the office said.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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(Catawba County Sheriff's Office) Andrew Moser is pictured in this undated photo released by Catawba County Sheriff's Office. (NEW YORK) -- A North Carolina man is facing up to 15 years behind bars for allegedly kidnapping a woman after shooting a man during a heated dispute, police said Saturday.

Derek Andrew Moser turned himself into the Catawba County Sheriff's Office hours after allegedly opening fire on 29-year-old Armando Jimenez and fleeing the scene in a 2006 Buick Rendezvous with 22-year-old Alexa Marie Cruz, police said.

Photographs of Moser and Cruz were released to the media Friday as police carried out a desperate search for them.

"If you encounter Derek Andrew Moser, call 911. Do NOT approach the suspect, he is considered armed and dangerous," according to a press release issued by police.

Though it's unclear what sparked the shooting, police said, Moser, Cruz and Jimenez know each other. Authorities were still investigating the extent of their relationship.

Around 11:45 p.m. on Friday, Moser surrendered and was arraigned for assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury, second-degree kidnapping and larceny of a motor vehicle charges.

Bond was set at $145,000 for Moser, who is currently held in Catawba County Detention Center, police said.

If convicted for the top charge, Moser faces between five and 15 years in prison.

Cruz is safe and cooperating with authorities; Jimenez was treated and released from the hospital, police said.

Police and the Newton Fire Department are also investigating a fire at a neighboring residence to see if it's connected to the shooting.

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ABC News(KANSAS CITY, Kansas) -- The owner and designer of what was billed as the world's tallest waterslide have had all charges against them dropped on Friday in relation to the horrific death of a 10-year-old boy on the ride in 2016.

Schlitterbahn Water Park owner Jeff Henry and designer John Schooley had been charged with second-degree murder after Caleb Schwab was decapitated on the Kansas City, Kansas, ride called the Verrückt.

Operations manager Tyler Miles, who was charged with involuntary manslaughter, also had his charges dropped on Friday.

The defendants issued a motion to dismiss the charges over what they called "improper evidence and testimony displayed to the grand jury."

The water park company, which has since closed its Kansas City location, hailed the decision to dismiss charges in a statement.

"We welcome today’s decision which dismissed the charges against all defendents (sic)," said Winter Prosapio, corporate director of communications for Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resorts. "We are thankful for all the support and encouragement we’ve received."

The grand jury had returned an indictment against Henry, Schooley and Miles on March 21, 2018, in Wyandotte County, Kansas. But on Friday, the judge dismissed those charges saying the jury was shown "a highly dramatized" made-for-TV drama produced by the Travel Channel.

The defendants lawyers also argued an expert who testified before the grand jury about American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards, even though they weren't required by law at the time of the development of the slide. An expert also discussed the death of someone at a different Schlitterbahn Water Park, but that was an employee who was killed while performing maintenance.

"The Court holds that the three areas of grand jury abuse cited by the defendants are credible and persuasive and must be considered illegal evidence that should not have been presented to the grand jury," Judge Robert P. Burns wrote.

The motion does say the state could still file a criminal complaint or take evidence before a different grand jury.

Prosecutors have alleged that Henry and other employees of the water park attempted to hide from investigators documents detailing at least 13 injuries on the Verrückt waterslide leading up to Schwab's death.

"We are obviously disappointed and respectfully disagree with the court’s decision. We will review the ruling carefully, including the court’s observation that the ruling ‘does not preclude the possibility that the State could continue to pursue this matter in a criminal court,' and take a fresh look at the evidence and applicable law in this tragic and troubling case to determine the best course forward," Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a statement released Friday.

Caleb Schwab's parents, Michelle and Scott, who was a state representative at the time and is now Kansas's secretary of state, spoke to "Good Morning America" about the accident in 2017.

Caleb's brother Nathan was waiting at the bottom of the slide while his parents were tending to the family's other children.

Michelle heard Nathan screaming, 'He flew from the Verruckt, he flew from the Verruckt,'" Michelle Schwab recalled to "GMA."

Investigators said Caleb was somehow decapitated on the ride.

"There was a gentleman who wouldn't allow me to come close enough to see what was going on, and he just kept saying, 'Trust me, you don't want to go any further,'" Michele Schwab said. "I kind of knew in my mind that I shouldn't see it, that I probably don't want to see it."

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iStock/Thinkstock(VAN BUREN, Arkansas) -- Police in Van Buren, Arkansas are still scratching their heads over one of the most unusual arrests they said they have made in years.

On Thursday night, police received a call from an 18-year-old reporting underage drinking in his home – by him.

“Basically he, I guess, was intoxicated and called our office and said he was underage and drinking and he wanted to go to jail,” Van Buren Police Department Sergeant Jonathan Wear told ABC News in a telephone interview.

“At first the [responding] officers were a little confused,” he said. "They went to make contact and when they went to the house this guy -- he actually came out of the apartment with his hands up. At that time, the officers didn’t know it was him who called – they thought it was a neighbor. The officers asked what was going on and he admitted to calling.”

“The officers wanted to give him a chance so they said, you know, ‘Look, just stay in your apartment and don’t drink, and you can go back into your house,’ but I guess he wasn’t good with that,” Wear explained. “They actually gave him a chance to go back inside and sober up. But he refused. He said, ‘I really need to go to jail.’”

Wear said the young man told officers he had been drinking after having a bad day.

He said that Van Buren police officers still can’t figure out what prompted the young man to self-confess and turn himself in.

“There’s a little bit of a buzz around here,” Wear said. “The officers at the police department are talking about it because it’s just so unusual.”

“He was not very high,” Wear said.

“It wasn’t like he was just wasted or anything. He was not bad at all. The officers told him that ‘in your house [underage drinking is] not an issue. But with him refusing to go back in, the officers couldn’t leave him wandering around outside, so they arrested him and took him in.”

The young man was charged with public intoxication, but the mystery behind his self-confession remains.

On the ride to the station, “there wasn’t any real conversation,” Wear said.

By Arkansas state law, individuals arrested for public intoxication must remain locked up for at least six hours.

Wear said the young man was locked up for six hours and then released on a “small” bond.

“It was a very strange arrest.”

Wear declined to provide the teenager’s name.

“We are not releasing his name,” the sergeant said. “We don’t want to cause him too much trouble.”

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johnandersonphoto/iStock(NEW YORK) -- A New York federal judge wants a ladder and a visit to the Statue of Liberty before he sentences a woman who has come before his court.

The woman in question is Staten Island resident Therese Patricia Okoumou, 44, who was arrested last July 4 for scaling the base of the iconic statue and taking up temporary residence on Lady Liberty's right foot.

Liberty Island, where the statue is located, was evacuated and all visitors were taken off the island via ferry, a National Parks spokesperson said at the time.

Footage from helicopters showed her sitting at the base of the statue, occasionally lying on her stomach and kicking her feet up behind her, ABC station WABC reported.

Police were seen on the base of the Statue of Liberty, apparently trying to verbally engage with Okoumou before physically apprehending her. Footage from the scene showed the officers wearing harnesses and using ladders to scale the statue's base.

Okoumou was seen holding a t-shirt displaying the words "Rise and Resist" and "Trump Care Makes Us Sick." She later said that she was protesting President Donald Trump’s family separation policies.

She was found guilty in a one-day federal bench trial of a number of misdemeanors including trespassing, disorderly conduct and interfering with government agency functions.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein said in a court order this week that he wants to visit Liberty Island and see the scene of the crime from his own vantage point so he can “better appreciate the risks or hazards created by the defendant’s conduct.”

He asked federal prosecutors in Manhattan to arrange the trip, assuming “this can be accomplished without unduly inconveniencing the National Park Service.”

“The court would like a ladder to be made available so the court (and counsel if requested) can view, while remaining on the ladder, the surface of the area where the defendant was situated on July 4, 2018,” Gorenstein wrote.

Gorenstein will decide whether Patricia Okoumou should go to prison for the stunt.

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Photo by Scott Legato/Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- Singer R. Kelly turned himself in to Chicago police late Friday night after being charged earlier in the day with 10 counts of felony criminal sexual abuse involving four alleged victims, according to the Cook County Prosecutor's Office.

Three of the four victims were younger than 17 at the time of the alleged incidents, according to prosecutors.

At a post-surrender press conference, the pop star's attorney Steve Greenberg dismissed the new charges and called the accusers liars.

Asked whether he thought all the women were making up their allegations, Greenberg said he does.

"I think all the women are lying, yes," he told reporters late Friday night. "This has become, 'Hey, R Kelly -- I can say R Kelly did something' -- boom. There was a press conference yesterday, 'Oh, these two girls were assaulted by R Kelly!' And the lawyer stood there with a picture of LL Cool J!"

Greenberg went on to claim that Cook County, Illinois, State Attorney Kim Foxx indicted the singer in response to public pressure.

"I had a discussion with the state's attorney’s office earlier this week [and] we were supposed to meet next week and have a discussion about what they had," he said. "I was gonna be allowed to address what they had, then they just decided to indict him today for whatever reason. I suspect this is succumbing to public pressure."

His lawyer also claimed one of the unnamed women in the indictment is the same person in a 2003 child pornography case where the singer was eventually found not guilty in June 2008.

"One of the cases seems to be a rehash he was acquitted for. Double jeopardy should apply to everyone," Greenberg said.

The pop artist remained silent as reporters shouted questions at him when he arrived at a Chicago police station.

Kelly, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is also facing investigations from at least three different federal law enforcement agencies including at least one examining his alleged relationships with underage girls and whether they were trafficked, multiple law enforcement sources told ABC News.

Kelly, who is "shell shocked," according to his attorney, is scheduled to appear in bond court Saturday in Chicago, according to the Associated Press. Kelly's attorney said on Twitter that he would be turning himself in on Friday night.

The investigations, by the FBI, Homeland Security Investigations and the IRS, have opened in the six weeks since Lifetime aired “Surviving R. Kelly,” a docuseries about the decades’ worth of misconduct allegations against the singer.

The agencies all declined to comment citing policies of not confirming or denying the existence of investigations.

HSI is looking at potential crimes involving sex trafficking and child exploitation. The existence of the investigations was first reported by The New Yorker.

On Thursday, two more women came forward to say Kelly preyed on them. They appeared in New York with their attorney, Gloria Allred, who said Latresa Scaff and Rochelle Washington planned to speak with federal prosecutors. Allred confirmed in an interview Friday with New York ABC station WABC that her clients had spoken to investigators. A grand jury has also been convened in New York to look into allegations against Kelly.

"Yesterday, I indicated that my two clients who held a press conference here in New York would be speaking to law enforcement, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, and they did in fact have that interview," Allred told WABC.

Michael Avenatti, who is representing two alleged victims of Kelly, said he turned over a graphic tape to the Cook County State Attorney's Office in which the singer is allegedly sexually assaulting a 14-year-old.

"Earlier this month we uncovered and recovered a video tape of over 40 minutes in length," Avenatti said at a press conference Friday. "We promptly brought it to the attention of Ms. Foxx and others in her office. This tape leaves no question as to whether R. Kelly is guilty of multiple sexual illegal acts against a 14-year-old girl. The tape was shot in the late '90s, approximately 1999, [and] it depicts two separate scenes shot on two separate days within Mr. Kelly's residence at the time.

"Repeatedly on the video both the victim and Mr. Kelly refer to the victim's age as being 14," Avenatti said. "That occurs in excess of 10 separate times on the video, both the victim and Mr. Kelly can be heard referencing her age."

Kelly's lawyer said he hadn't seen the video, but quickly dismissed the allegation.

"Unfortunately, the state's attorney now succumbed to public pressure, to pressure from grandstanders like Michael Avenatti," Greenberg said.

Kelly’s attorney has previously said his client never intentionally had sex with an underage girl, nor mistreated anyone or held anyone against her will.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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ABC News(CHICAGO) -- Embattled actor Jussie Smollett will not appear in the final two episodes of Empire this season in the wake of the criminal charges he's facing for allegedly falsifying claims of a hate crime.

Producers of the Fox show Empire said that Smollett's character will be removed from the final two episodes of the show.

The show's creators and executive producers Producers Lee Daniels, Danny Strong, Brett Mahoney, Brian Grazer, Sanaa Hamri, Francie Calfo and Dennis Hammer released a joint statement confirming the news.

"The events of the past few weeks have been incredibly emotional for all of us. Jussie has been an important member of our Empire family for the past five years and we care about him deeply. While these allegations are very disturbing, we are placing our trust in the legal system as the process plays out. We are also aware of the effects of this process on the cast and crew members who work on our show and to avoid further disruption on set, we have decided to remove the role of ‘Jamal’ from the final two episodes of the season," the joint statement reads.

This update comes a day after Smollett entered a not guilty plea to felony charges for allegedly staging an attack. He returned to the Chicago set of the show after appearing in court Thursday, and insisted to his castmates that he didn't make up the story, a source familiar with the meeting told ABC News.

The actor also filmed scenes for the show on Thursday, according to the source, but the news that producers will not be including his character in the season's final two episodes suggests that any scenes he did film may not be used.

The announcement of his removal from the season's final two episodes comes more than a week after Strong, one of the show's co-creators, tweeted that there was no chance that the actor would be written off. The tweet came on Feb. 14, days before Smollett was charged.

"There is 0% truth that @JussieSmollett was going to be written off of Empire. This rumor is totally false. He is the third lead and one of the most beloved characters on the show. Writing him off the show has NEVER even been discussed," Strong tweeted at the time.

On Thursday, Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct and a Chicago judge set Smollett's bond at $100,000 and ordered the actor to surrender his passport.

The ruling followed a remarkable news conference during the police department's superintendent blasted the actor and accused him of staging an elaborate hoax that amounted to a "publicity stunt ... to promote his career."

The weeks-long investigation into the alleged hate crime attack –- an alarming account that sizzled with a spectrum of hot button issues ranging from race, sexuality and politics to crime and celebrity -- riveted and distressed a deeply-divided nation.

Standing before Cook County Circuit Court Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke, Jr., Smollett appeared to remain steadfast in his refutation of the felony charge against him. As he did with his fellow actors after the hearing, Smollett has repeatedly insisted that the attack was real and that he was merely a victim, not a perpetrator.

If convicted of felony disorderly conduct for filing a false report, the actor faces up to three years in prison.

When first assistant state attorney Risa Lanier told Lyke that the actor had picked up two brothers who authorities say carried out the staged attack on him at his direction and showed them the location of where he wanted to be attacked, Smollett shook his head in disagreement.

When Lyke told Smollett that the allegations, if true, are "utterly outrageous," the actor nodded his head in agreement -- doing so again when Lyke said the noose detail would be the most despicable part of the alleged scheme.

The judge also ordered pre-trial monitoring of the actor, and ordered him to stay away from the two brothers he allegedly conspired with to stage the hoax attack, according to police.

Smollett's next court appearance is scheduled for March 14.

The tense courtroom appearance followed on the heels of a morning press conference at which a visibly angry Eddie Johnson, Chicago's police superintendent, castigated the actor for betraying his race and his city with such an incendiary false claim.

"Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career," a visibly angry Johnson said. “I am left hanging my head asking ‘why?’. Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? ... How can an individual who's been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in the city in the face with these false claims?"

Johnson charged that Smollett, an actor on the hit show 'Empire' who has consistently denied any role in staging the alleged attack, orchestrated it because he was "dissatisfied with his salary."

Smollett's salary on the show is in the range of $100,000 per episode, according to a source familiar with his contract.

In addition to staging the attack, officials said, Smollett also sent himself a hate-filled letter to the Fox studio where the hit show is filmed.

Smollett turned himself in at 5:15 a.m. local time and made a statement to police before being taken into custody. His lawyers, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, were not present at the time but they released a statement the night before.

"Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

Thursday evening, the attorneys released a statement criticizing law enforcement's handling of the case.

"Today we witnessed an organized law enforcement spectacle that has no place in the American legal system. The presumption of innocence, a bedrock in the search for justice, was trampled upon at the expense of Mr. Smollett and notably, on the eve of a Mayoral election," the statement read. "Mr. Smollett is a young man of impeccable character and integrity who fiercely and solemnly maintains his innocence and feels betrayed by a system that apparently wants to skip due process and proceed directly to sentencing."

Backlash


Police add that Smollett gave no statement to police after turning himself in and that his lawyers had reached out to them Wednesday night to discuss his surrender. Smollett wanted to turn himself in near midnight, but authorities suggested he come in at 5 a.m. instead, to avoid spending the night in jail. Smollett arrived early Thursday morning accompanied by a female lawyer and an entourage of five or six people.

Smollett was silent as he went through the motions of being booked and processed.

By late morning on Thursday, the backlash against the actor began at the top, with an angry tweet from the President of the United States.

".@JussieSmollett - what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA" President Donald Trump wrote in a tweet after the press conference.

In an earlier interview with ABC News's Robin Roberts, Smollett was asked why he thought he was targeted and he replied that he is a strident critic of the Trump administration.

“I come really really hard against 45," he said, referring to Trump, the 45th U.S. president. "I come really really hard against his administration, and I don’t hold my tongue.”

'I'm offended'


During a press briefing Thursday morning, Chicago law enforcement officials said that Chicago police detectives interviewed more than 100 people and reviewed dozens of police cameras trying to get to the bottom of Smollett's claims.

Johnson, a well-regarded and popular big city police chief and Chicago native, appeared genuinely aggrieved as he described how, he said, Smollett took advantage of the pain of racism to advance his career.

"Why would anyone use the symbol of a noose" to further his "own public profile," Johnson wondered aloud.

"I'm offended by what happened and I'm angry," Johnson continued. "This publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn’t own and certainly didn’t deserve."

Johnson, who oversees one of the nation's largest police departments in one of its most violent cities, seemed disheartened by all the attention paid to the Smollett affair.

“The accusation within this phony attack received national attention for weeks,” Johnson told reporters during a press conference. “Celebrities, news commentators and even presidential candidates weighed in on something that was choreographed by an actor."

"When you get the opportunity," he said with a mixture of derision and frustration, "the shooting victims and their families? Give them the same amount of attention."

After the press briefing, 20th Century Fox, the station that airs Empire, released a statement which read, "We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options."

'Self-inflicted' wounds


Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men near his apartment in Chicago. The two men, Smollett initially said, shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him as a rope was wrapped around his neck and a chemical compound was poured on him. The alleged assailants yelled "MAGA country," a reference to President Donald Trump's "Make American Great Again" slogan, police were told.

In his Good Morning America interview with Roberts, Smollett said he was heartbroken when he found out that people questioned his story.

Asked why he would leave the rope draped around his neck until police arrived because he "wanted them to see."

"I was looking at myself, just like checking myself out," he told Roberts. "I saw the bruise on my neck, you know, like the little -- the rope burn around my neck. So when the police came I kept the clothes on, I kept the rope on me. ... I mean, it wasn't, like, wrapped around. But, yeah, it was around because I wanted them to see."

Asked why he waited until the second interview to tell police that the assailants yelled “MAGA country” at him during the attack, Smollett seemed to take offense at the insinuation.

"For me, the main thing was the idea that I somehow switched up my story, you know? And that somehow maybe I added a little extra trinket, you know, of the MAGA thing," Smollett said on ABC News. "I didn't need to add anything like that. They called me a f----, they called me a n----. There's no which way you cut it."

'Chicago trusted this young man'


Johnson said on Thursday that Smollett's seeming injuries from the incident also appeared to be phony.

“The brothers had on gloves during the staged attack where they -- they punched him a little bit, but as far as we can tell, the scratches and bruising that you saw on his face was most likely self-inflicted."

Police identified and questioned two "persons of interest" captured on surveillance video near the scene around the time of the alleged attack. The men, who are brothers, were arrested on Feb. 13 but then released without charges, with police saying they were no longer considered suspects.

While being questioned by investigators, the brothers claimed that Smollett paid them to help orchestrate and stage the crime after he became upset that a letter threatening him, sent Jan. 22 to the Fox studio where Empire is filmed, did not get enough attention, sources told ABC News.

On Wednesday, Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false crime report. By that evening, police officially had classified the actor as a suspect in the ongoing investigation. Detectives subsequently presented evidence to a Cook County grand jury.

"That was a pretty hateful allegation, and it really put a terrible look on Chicago," Guglielmi told ABC Chicago station WLS in a telephone interview Thursday morning. "Chicago trusted this young man. We loved Empire, and we took this very seriously that something this hateful could happen in our city."

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imaginima/iStock(PERRIS, Calif.) -- David and Louise Turpin, the California parents accused of torturing and holding captive most of their 13 children, pleaded guilty Friday to 14 counts against them, prosecutors said.

David and Louise Turpin, who were arrested in January 2018, pleaded guilty to one count of torture and one count of dependent abuse as well as multiple counts of false imprisonment, child endangerment and adult abuse.

Each will serve an indeterminate sentence of 25 years to life, meaning they'll be eligible to begin having parole hearings after the minimum time has elapsed, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said at a Friday news conference.

"Unless a parole board at some point... decides they should be released, they will serve the rest of their life in prison," Hestrin said.

Had the case gone to trial, the victims likely would have been called to testify, Hestrin said.

The seven adult children are "relieved" they won't face the possibility of testifying, Jack Osborn, a lawyer who represents the adult Turpin children, told ABC News on Friday. The victims didn't want to lose their privacy or relive the "trauma" in such a public setting, he explained.

Hestrin called the Turpins' case "among the worst, most aggravated child abuse cases that I have ever seen."

The Turpins were accused of abusing 12 of their 13 children, including in some cases allegedly shackling them and beating them routinely, prosecutors said.

They were arrested after one child -- a 17-year-old girl -- escaped the home and called 911.

That Turpin daughter told the dispatcher that she and her siblings lived in filth and that she hadn't bathed in nearly a year, according to testimony in court in June. She said she had last seen a doctor in 2013 and had never been to a dentist in her life.

When rescued, all the children except for the youngest, a toddler, were severely malnourished, prosecutors said.

The eldest victim -- a 29-year-old woman -- weighed only 82 pounds.

The adult children are healthy, Osborn said Friday, and have been finishing their educations and enjoying everyday life, from movies to hikes.

The children may choose to speak at their parents' sentencing, Hestrin said. Sentencing has been set for April 19.

Both Louise Turpin's attorney and the public defender's office representing David Turpin declined to comment on Friday.

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ABC News(NEW YORK) -- As Las Vegas and Los Angeles area residents enjoy rare snow days, a storm is on the move, targeting the Northeast and South for the weekend.

Snowfall struck the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday -- the most snow the city has seen in more than a decade. Las Vegas schools are closed Friday, giving residents a rare snow day.

Flagstaff, Ariz., had its snowiest day in the city's history with 35.9 inches.

Even the Los Angeles area reported snow showers.

With the storm on the move, here's the latest forecast:


The storm is centered over the Southwest Friday morning, bringing rain and snow to Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado.

By Friday night the storm will move into the eastern Rockies bringing snow to Denver.

At the same time, a frontal system ahead of the storm will bring heavy rain to the South, from Arkansas to Tennessee.

The storm will move east on Saturday, bringing heavy snow from Kansas to Michigan.

In the South, severe storms are forecast to bring heavy rain, damaging winds, large hail and even a few tornadoes. Flash flooding is also a threat.

From Saturday night into Sunday morning the storm will barrel into the Northeast, bringing heavy rain to the Interstate 95 corridor from Virginia to Massachusetts. Heavy snow is expected for northern New England.

But the heaviest rain will fall from Shreveport, Louisiana, to Memphis, Tennessee, and into western Virginia. Four inches or more of rain is possible and flash flooding is expected.

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Woodland Park Police Department(FOUNTAIN, Colo.) -- Colorado authorities are planning to begin the task Tuesday morning of digging through a landfill for Kelsey Berreth's remains and other possible evidence in the missing mom's case, sources told ABC News.

The search of the Midway landfill near Fountain, Colorado, could last several months, according to sources with knowledge of the investigation. Investigators have been focusing their attention on the landfill since at least January, when officials from Waste Management told ABC News that the Colorado Bureau of Investigation had contacted them "regarding a potential search at Midway Landfill and we are cooperating fully."

Berreth, a 29-year-old pilot, was last seen entering a Safeway near her home in Woodland Park, Colorado, on Thanksgiving Day, according to surveillance footage from the store. The footage showed her entering with her 1-year-old daughter in a car seat and taking a shopping cart. It was the last confirmed sighting of her.

Berreth's mother reported her missing on Dec. 2, police said. Her body has never been found, but investigators testified in a Teller County courtroom on Tuesday that they believe Berreth's fiancé, Patrick Frazee, burned her body on his property in Florissant, Colorado.

During Frazee's preliminary hearing, a law enforcement witness said that Frazee told his mistress he "scooped Berreth's remains up and was going to take them to the dump or to take them to the river."

Krystal Lee Kenney, a former nurse from Idaho, told investigators that she and Frazee burned a black plastic container in a horse trough on Frazee's land days after Berreth was killed.

Kenney, who has pleaded guilty to transporting the 29-year-old flight instructor's cellphone from Colorado to Idaho on Nov. 25, told investigators that she never saw a body in the fire, but described a "lump" after the plastic melted away, which she believed to be Berreth's remains.

"I learned Patrick Frazee had committed a homicide on approximately Nov. 22, 2018, in Teller County," Kenney said in a court statement earlier this month. "I knew that law enforcement would be investigating that crime. I moved the victim’s cellphone with an intent to impair the phone’s availability in the investigation. I had no right or authority to move the victim’s cellphone that occurred between Nov. 24 and Nov. 25, 2018, in Teller County.”

According to the arrest affidavit released Wednesday, "Frazee put the black tote in a trough on his residence along with items from Berreth's residence; the bat used to kill Berreth, and burned it to dispose of evidence....the contents of Berreth's purse were burned at the same time as her body. There was a mace container, a pair of earrings and Berreth's identification card. These items were all burned, with the exception of Berreth's cell phone."

Frazee, 32, is charged with two counts of murder and three counts of solicitation to commit murder in his fiancee’s death. Teller County prosecutors filed additional charges prior to the preliminary hearing, including tampering with a dead body and two sentence enhancers.

The couple's daughter, Kaylee, is in temporary custody of Kelsey's parents.

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Pasco Sheriff's Office(PORT RICHEY, Fla.) -- A Florida mayor, who was accused of practicing medicine without a license, resigned on Friday, one day after he was arrested for allegedly firing shots at deputies who were attempting to serve a search warrant, according to police.

Port Richey Mayor Dale Massad was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted homicide after he allegedly shot at two sheriff's deputies at his home in central Florida, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said.

Brian Corley, the Pasco County Supervisor of Election, tweeted that Massad had resigned from his elected position late Friday.

"Our office has been notified by the City of Port Richey general counsel that mayor Dale Massad has resigned. In accordance with the municipal charter of the City of Port Richey, a special election will be held on a date to be determined."

Massad, 68, also faces charges of practicing medicine without a license. There were no injuries reported and the deputies did not return fire, according to the sheriff's office.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had issued an executive order suspending Massad earlier in the day Friday and said, "Dale Glen Massad is clearly unfit to continue serving as Mayor for the City of Port Richey. It is in the best interest of the residents of the City of Port Richey and citizens of the state of Florida that Dale Glen Massad be immediately suspended from public office."

Massad is a known drug user with a history of violence, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said at a press conference Thursday. He was elected mayor of Port Richey, which is located about 40 miles north of Tampa, in 2015.

"We knew this was going to be a very dangerous situation, which it did turn out to be," Nocco said. "Our deputies did an unbelievable job. Those deputies were professional, their training kicked in and they did a great job.

"He's lucky he's not dead," he added.

Massad, who was recently arrested for a domestic violence incident, had multiple weapons at his home and told deputies that he refused to go back to jail, according to Nocco.

"This was a violent individual who had made the statement [saying] he wasn't going back to jail," Nocco said. "We did everything we could to make it a peaceful resolution. He's the one who made the decision to shoot at us."

Massad was a licensed doctor from 1977 until 1992, when he voluntarily surrendered his license after the Board of Medicine alleged his errors in care led to a 3-year-old patient’s death in 1990, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Agents launched an investigation after receiving reports that Massad had been seeing patients at his home for medical treatment, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in a statement.

"FDLE agents received information from the Port Richey Police Department that Massad, whose medical license was relinquished in 1992 in place of revocation, was still practicing medicine," the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said. "He had performed medical procedures at his residence with one procedure requiring additional hospital treatment for the patient."

The Port Richey mayor's office did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment.

It's unclear if Massad has retained an attorney.

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WABC-TV(NEW YORK) -- An Uber driver in Queens was the luckiest guy in New York City on Thursday.

Mahboob Lodhi, who said he had just gotten off a shift working for the car-share company, was cruising through Woodside in the city's largest borough when a large plank fell from elevated subway tracks above him and speared right through his windshield.

Lodhi missed disaster by a foot or two.

"Boom. I'm just shocked," Lodhi told New York ABC station WABC-TV about his thoughts in the moment. "I'm nervous and then after a couple minutes, nothing."

No one was injured in the vehicle or on the street, though the wooden plank did glance off Lodhi's arm and glass sprayed onto him.

Photos from after the incident show the piece of wood fully punctured the windshield and reached all the way to the passenger seat.

Several other planks also fell to the street.

"A track from the 7 train just crashed down upon a driving car around 65th Street in Woodside, piercing through the windshield," New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer tweeted. "These photos are horrifying!"

Van Bramer also called for an investigation and said "someone could have been killed."

The Metropolitan Transit Authority, which operates New York City's subways, is facing billions of dollars in debt. The agency's total outstanding debt as of Jan. 14 was slightly over $40 billion.

About Thursday's incident, the MTA said in a statement to WABC, "We take this incident extremely seriously, are conducting a full investigation into what happened, have personnel ensuring the rest of the area is safe, and are relieved that no one was injured."

Workers also spent Thursday evening inspecting the elevated portion of the 7 line for any other possible similarities.

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BlakeDavidTaylor/iStock(HUMBLE, Texas) -- A Texas middle school student was arrested this week for allegedly bringing a large blade and a so-called "hit list" to school, administrators said.

Karl Koehler, principal of the Atascocita Middle School in Humble, Texas, said the student was caught with an 8-inch blade on Wednesday that was large enough to cut a tree branch.

The unidentified student was arrested and charged with possession of a prohibited weapon, a third-degree felony, Koehler said.

Officials at Atascocita Middle School, located about 20 miles north of Houston, sent a letter home to parents on Wednesday afternoon explaining the situation.

"Today, a student made a poor choice and brought a saw blade to school," the letter said. "The blade was about 8 inches and is the type of tool one uses to cut a tree branch. The student also had written a hit list containing a few students’ names."

School officials said they made the discovery after receiving a tip about a potential safety concern.

"The moment that we received a tip about a potential safety concern, we took immediate action by launching an investigation," the letter said. "We involved Humble ISD [Independent School District] Police, who gathered information and presented it to the Harris County District Attorney’s Office."

There were no injuries reported and the school said it planned to have personal conversations with the parents of students whose names were listed, according to the letter.

The Humble Independent School District thanked school officials for being proactive and stopping a potential tragedy.

"We have a proactive culture on campus that encourages people to share information," the district said in a statement. "The system worked. We received a tip. We took immediate action by launching an investigation."

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Chicago Police Dept.(CHICAGO) -- A Chicago judge set Jesse Smollett's bond at $100,000 on Thursday and ordered him to surrender his passport, hours after a remarkable Chicago Police Department press conference in which Superintendent Eddie T. Johnson blasted the 'Empire' star, saying that Smollett's alleged staging of a hoax attack was a "publicity stunt...to promote his career."

Standing before Cook County Circuit Court Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke, Jr., Smollett appeared to remain steadfast in his refutation of the charge against him. He has repeatedly insisted that the attack was real and that he was merely a victim, not a perpetrator.

When first assistant state attorney Risa Lanier told Lyke that the actor had picked up two brothers who authorities say carried out the staged attack on him at his direction and showed them the location of where he wanted to be attacked, Smollett shook his head in disagreement.

When Lyke told Smollett that the allegations, if true, are "utterly outrageous," the actor nodded his head in agreement -- doing so again when Lyke said the noose detail would be the most despicable part of the alleged scheme.

The judge also ordered pre-trial monitoring of the actor, and ordered him to stay away from the two brothers he allegedly conspired with to stage the hoax attack, according to police.

The tense courtroom appearance followed on the heels of a morning press conference at which a visibly angry Johnson castigated the actor for betraying his race and his city with such an incendiary false claim.

"Jussie Smollett took advantage of the pain and anger of racism to promote his career," a visibly angry Johnson said. “I am left hanging my head asking ‘why?’. Why would anyone, especially an African-American man, use the symbolism of a noose to make false accusations? ... How can an individual who's been embraced by the city of Chicago turn around and slap everyone in the city in the face with these false claims?"

Johnson charged that Smollett, an actor on the hit show 'Empire' who has consistently denied any role in staging the alleged attack, orchestrated it because he was "dissatisfied with his salary."

In addition to staging the attack, officials said, Smollett also sent himself a hate-filled letter to the Fox studio where the hit show is filmed.

Smollett turned himself in at 5:15 a.m. local time and made a statement to police before being taken into custody. His lawyers, Todd Pugh and Victor Henderson, were not present at the time but they released a statement the night before.

"Like any other citizen, Mr. Smollett enjoys the presumption of innocence, particularly when there has been an investigation like this one where information, both true and false, has been repeatedly leaked. Given these circumstances, we intend to conduct a thorough investigation and to mount an aggressive defense."

Backlash

Police add that Smollett gave no statement to police after turning himself in and that his lawyers had reached out to them Wednesday night to discuss his surrender. Smollett wanted to turn himself in near midnight, but authorities suggested he come in at 5 a.m. instead, to avoid spending the night in jail. Smollett arrived early Thursday morning accompanied by a female lawyer and an entourage of five or six people.

Smollett was silent as he went through the motions of being booked and processed.

By late morning on Thursday, the backlash against the actor began at the top, with an angry tweet from the President of the United States.

".@JussieSmollett - what about MAGA and the tens of millions of people you insulted with your racist and dangerous comments!? #MAGA" President Donald Trump wrote in a tweet after the press conference.

In an earlier interview with ABC News, Smollett was asked why he thought he was targeted and he replied that he is a strident critic of the Trump administration.

“I come really really hard against 45," he said. referring to Trump, the 45th U.S. president. "I come really really hard against his administration, and I don’t hold my tongue.”

'I'm offended'

During a press briefing later Thursday morning, Chicago law enforcement officials said that Chicago police detectives interviewed more than 100 people and reviewed dozens of police cameras trying to get to the bottom of Smollett's claims.

Johnson, a well-regarded and popular big city police chief and Chicago native, appeared genuinely aggrieved as he described how, he said, Smollett took advantage of the pain of racism to advance his career.

"Why would anyone use the symbol of a noose" to further his "own public profile," Johnson wondered aloud.

"I'm offended by what happened and I'm angry," Johnson continued. "This publicity stunt was a scar that Chicago didn’t own and certainly didn’t deserve."

Johnson, who oversees one of the nation's largest police departments in one of its most violent cities, seemed disheartened by all the attention paid to the Smollett affair.

“The accusation within this phony attack received national attention for weeks,” Johnson told reporters during a press conference. “Celebrities, news commentators and even presidential candidates weighed in on something that was choreographed by an actor."

"When you get the opportunity," he said with a mixture of derision and frustration, "the shooting victims and their families? Give them the same amount of attention."

 After the press briefing, 20th Century Fox, the station that airs "Empire," released a statement which read, "We understand the seriousness of this matter and we respect the legal process. We are evaluating the situation and we are considering our options."

'Self-inflicted' wounds

Smollett told police he was attacked by two masked men near his apartment in Chicago. The two men, Smollett initially said, shouted racist and homophobic slurs at him as a rope was wrapped around his neck and a chemical compound was poured on him. The alleged assailants yelled "MAGA country," a reference to President Donald Trump's "Make American Great Again" slogan, police were told.

In an interview with "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts, Smollett said he was heartbroken when he found out that people questioned his story.

Asked why he would leave the rope draped around his neck until police arrived because he "wanted them to see."

"I was looking at myself, just like checking myself out," he told Roberts. "I saw the bruise on my neck, you know, like the little -- the rope burn around my neck. So when the police came I kept the clothes on, I kept the rope on me. ... I mean, it wasn't, like, wrapped around. But, yeah, it was around because I wanted them to see."

Asked why he wait until the second interview to tell police that the assailants yelled “MAGA country” at him during the attack, Smollett seemed to take offense at the insinuation.

"For me, the main thing was the idea that I somehow switched up my story, you know? And that somehow maybe I added a little extra trinket, you know, of the MAGA thing," Smollett said on ABC News. "I didn't need to add anything like that. They called me a f----, they called me a n----. There's no which way you cut it."

'Chicago trusted this young man'


Johnson said on Thursday that Smollett's seeming injuries from the incident also appeared to be phony.

“The brothers had on gloves during the staged attack where they -- they punched him a little bit, but as far as we can tell, the scratches and bruising that you saw on his face was most likely self-inflicted."

Police identified and questioned two "persons of interest" captured on surveillance video near the scene around the time of the alleged attack. The men, who are brothers, were arrested on Feb. 13 but then released without charges, with police saying they were no longer considered suspects.

While being questioned by investigators, the brothers claimed that Smollett paid them to help orchestrate and stage the crime after he became upset that a letter threatening him, sent Jan. 22 to the Fox studio where "Empire" is filmed, did not get enough attention, sources told ABC News.

On Wednesday, Smollett was charged with felony disorderly conduct for filing a false crime report. By that evening, police officially had classified the actor as a suspect in the ongoing investigation. Detectives subsequently presented evidence to a Cook County grand jury.

"That was a pretty hateful allegation, and it really put a terrible look on Chicago," Guglielmi told ABC Chicago station WLS in a telephone interview Thursday morning. "Chicago trusted this young man. We loved 'Empire,' and we took this very seriously that something this hateful could happen in our city."

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