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Pittsburgh hospital employee accused of exposing himself to patient

A food server at a Pittsburgh hospital is accused of exposing himself in front of a patient. 

Police said Michael Booker, 37, a dietary server at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Mercy, approached the female patient at the walking bridge that joins the parking garage and the hospital. 

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WPXI reported that the woman told investigators Booker approached her, said something vulgar and started fondling himself. 

Booker is facing charges that include open lewdness. Officials said he has since been terminated from his position as a server. 

Booker faces a preliminary hearing next month.

Father stabbed to death defending young son from sneaker-stealing teens

A New Jersey man was stabbed to death in his home Tuesday night when he tried to defend his 8-year-old son from a group of teens trying to steal the boy’s sneakers, according to family.

Jose “Migue” Malave, 30, of Jersey City, was stabbed around 7 p.m. at his home, according to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office. He was pronounced dead about 25 minutes later at the scene. 

A 17-year-old boy was arrested at the scene and charged as a juvenile, prosecutors said. The unidentified teen is charged with murder, felony murder, armed burglary, conspiracy and multiple weapons charges. 

A second suspect, Nasiar Day, 19, of Newark, was taken into custody Thursday, NJ.com reported. Day is also charged with murder, felony murder, armed burglary, weapons charges and conspiracy. 

NJ.com reported that Malave died in front of his girlfriend and four of his 11 children. Malave had just returned home to drop off his son before heading to his construction job. 

Responding police officers found him lying in a “lifeless state” in the doorway of the family’s apartment, prosecutors said

Malave’s 8-year-old son had reportedly been targeted earlier in the day by a group of teens who tried to steal his sneakers. The teens later went to the boy’s home because they assumed he had other nice belongings, Jose Malave’s sister, Yesenia Malave, told NJ.com.

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Yesenia Malave described her brother as a man who always tried to brighten people’s days.

“He was always outgoing, always happy, always trying to help people,” she said. “You could be down and he was the one who could bring your life up.”

In a Facebook post on Thursday, the grieving sister said she could not adequately express her grief. 

“I wish I would have one more day with my little brother to tell him I love him,” Yesenia Malave wrote. “I miss his 3 a.m. call; (who’s) going to call me now?”

Friends and family members have established crowdfunding pages to help the Malave family with funeral arrangements and to help financially support Jose Malave’s children. Petitions have also been established to urge prosecutors to charge both suspects as adults in the slaying.

Can police legally obtain your DNA from 23andMe, Ancestry? 

The DNA you send in the mail through genetics kits and genealogy programs like 23andMe and Ancestry  can be used by police in a criminal investigation, but it doesn’t happen very often.

» RELATED: 7 things you need to know before you send your spit to 23andMe

More than 1.2 million customers have sent their saliva to 23andMe to learn about their own genetics, though not everyone is aware that police can potentially have access to their DNA.

>> Read more trending news

“We try to make information available on the website in various forms, so through Frequently Asked Questions, through information in our privacy center,” 23andMe privacy officer Kate Black told Action News Jax Thursday.

» RELATED: Bill would allow companies to collect employee genetics information 

Police have only requested information from 23andMe for five Americans and, according to 23andMe reports, the company didn’t turn over any information.

“In each of these cases, 23andMe successfully resisted the request and protected our customers’ data from release to law enforcement,” Black and colleague Zerina Curevac wrote in a blog post last year.

But Black said she wouldn’t rule out the possibility in the future and seeks to review requests on “a case-by-case basis.”

» RELATED: Not ready for kids? New, affordable at-home fertility test gives women better data on eggs, fertility timeline

In the 23andMe blog post, Black and Curevac address multiple privacy concerns and questions involving law enforcement and their DNA.

They write that typically police will collect the DNA of an unknown suspect at a crime scene and compare it to the federal government’s genetic information database, the Combined DNA Index System or “CODIS.”

» RELATED: DNA may determine whether you're an early or late riser

Using CODIS, police can run a search to see if the DNA matches that of a convicted offender or arrestee profile in the database. They can also run a “familial search” to identify close biological relatives.

If no matches are found, police may turn to privately owned databases.

But 23andMe and other ancestry tools aren’t likely to be useful to law enforcement agencies or to the government, Black and Curevac wrote.

Their genetic tests can’t be used to match CODIS information or information in other governmental databases because the genotyping technology is very different.

» RELATED: DNA match ties man to nearly 30-year-old rape case

And even if police are presented with a situation in which the testing would be useful, they would still face tough legal and technical limitations.

These limitations are usually enough to persuade police to back off their requests, according to the blog.

23andMe posts law enforcement requests on its public Transparency Report.

While police have been unable to obtain DNA information from 23andMe, in 2014, Ancestry self-reported that it released a customer’s DNA sample to police in compliance with a search warrant.

» RELATED: Ancestry.com search nabs ID thief, police say

According to Ancestry’s website, the company “requires valid legal process in order to produce information about our users. We comply with legitimate requests in accordance with applicable law.”

The investigation involved the 1996 murder and rape of 18-year-old Angie Dodge in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Mashable reported. Police believed there was another person involved in addition to Christopher Tapp, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1998.

The 2014 Ancestry results found a close (but not exact) match, which police believed to be Tapp’s relative.

After showing up at donor Michael Usry Jr.’s doorstep in New Orleans for a six-hour interrogation and taking a blood sample, police determined it wasn’t a match, Mashable reported.

Ancestry’s Transparency Report states that the company received nine valid law enforcement requests in 2016 and provided information on eight of the requests to government agencies. All were related to credit card misuse and identity theft.

» RELATED: Ancestry finds, interviews descendants of the Founding Fathers

NFL investigating allegations Jameis Winston groped Uber driver in 2016, report says

Update 2:27 p.m. EDT Nov. 17: Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston on Friday denied that he groped a female Uber driver in 2016, saying in a statement that he believes “the driver was confused as to the number of passengers in the car and who was sitting next to her.”

“The accusation is false, and given the nature of the allegation and increased awareness and consideration of these types of matters, I am addressing this false report immediately.”

BuzzFeed News reported Friday that the NFL is investigating the alleged incident, which happened in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The driver, who was not identified, told BuzzFeed that Winston “reached over and he just grabbed my crotch” as they were waiting for food in the drive-thru of a Mexican restaurant.

“I am supportive of the national movement to raise awareness and develop better responses to the concerns of parties who find themselves in these types of situations, but this accusation is false,” Winston said. “While I am certain that I did not make any inappropriate contact, I don’t want to engage in a battle with the driver and I regret if my demeanor or presence made her uncomfortable in any way.”

In response to the incident, Uber barred Winston from using the service.

Original report:The NFL is investigating an allegation that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback and former Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston groped a female Uber driver in 2016, BuzzFeed News reported Friday.

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Lisa Friel, a member of the NFL’s special counsel for investigations, sent a letter to the female Uber driver on Thursday confirming that the NFL is looking into the matter, according to the report.

The female Uber driver told BuzzFeed News that she picked up Winston in the early hours of the morning on March 13 in Scottsdale, Arizona. She said that Winston “behaved poorly” immediately when he entered her vehicle.

Later in the drive, when they waited for food at a Mexican restaurant drive-thru, Winston “reached over and he just grabbed my crotch,” the woman told BuzzFeed.

Soon after the ride, the driver filed a formal complaint with the company, writing that “apparently a big athlete in the NFL” reached over “and put his fingers on my crotch.”

“It wasn’t my stomach or thigh, it was my crotch and I want to be clear about that,” she added in the complaint. “He is NOT safe for other drivers.”

Uber banned Winston from using the service in the future, according to BuzzFeed.

“The behavior the driver reported is disturbing and wrong,” an Uber spokesperson said Friday in a statement. “The rider was permanently removed from the app shortly after we learned of the incident.”

Winston’s representative, Russ Spielman, issued a statement denying the allegations, saying the Uber driver “was unable to identify the specific individual who allegedly touched this driver inappropriately. The only reason his name is being dragged in to this is that his Uber account was used to call the ride.”

While at Florida State, Winston was accused of raping a female student. The alleged assault, which occurred in 2012, was not made public until 2013 amid the controversy of a cover-up by the school and Tallahassee police.

The woman in the case, Erica Kinsman, sued the University. In 2016, she and Florida State reached a settlement that would pay her $950,000.

Winston is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury.

The Cox Media Group National Content Desk contributed to this report.

Oklahoma teacher accused of having sex with underage student

A married teacher in Oklahoma was arrested Wednesday and accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage student, KWTV reported.

>> Read more trending news

Hunter Day, 22, who teaches science at Yukon High School, was arrested by the Canadian County Sheriff’s Department on complaints of second-degree rape, facilitating sexual contact with a minor and possession of child pornography, KWTV reported. She is reportedly married to the school’s football coach.

The sheriff’s office said the investigation began when they were reportedly contacted by the boy’s parents. The boy’s cell phone allegedly contained explicit text messages and nude photographs, the sheriff’s office told KWTV. Authorities did not reveal the age of the boy, except to note that he was underage.

“This is a classic case of a serious breach of public trust. School teachers are entrusted to protect and educate our children, not to engage in an unlawful sexual relationship with them,” Canadian County Sheriff Chris West said.

Investigators said Day and the boy had arranged a meeting on the day of the arrest, KWTV reported. When deputies arrived at the home, they sent Day a text message from the boy’s phone, saying, “I’m here.” Day allegedly responded, “The doors [sic] unlocked as usual.”

Authorities said when they entered Day’s house, they found her sitting on the living room floor with the lights turned off, wearing a Christmas cat T-shirt and workout shorts. She allegedly admitted to sending “bra and panty” photographs of herself to the boy, and also allegedly said she had received photos of the boy’s genitals, KWTV reported.

During a news conference on Thursday, the Yukon Schools Superintendent Jason Simeroth said he could not comment on Day’s status with the school, pending the investigation.

Day was booked into the Canadian County Jail. Her bond was set at $85,000.

Ohio pastor found guilty of trying to hire prostitute

An Ohio pastor, arrested in Dayton, was found guilty earlier this year for loitering to engage in solicitation, according to court records.

>> Read more trending news

Daniel P. Williams, 40, of Huber Heights, was found guilty in late August after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of loitering, according to Dayton Municipal Court.

Williams’ employer is listed as Arrowbrook Baptist Church in Xenia in both court record and the police report. The church’s website also lists Williams as its pastor.

Attempts to reach Williams by phone  were unsuccessful.

Williams was originally charged with a second count of loitering and a third count of soliciting. Both were withdrawn upon his guilty plea, according to Dayton Municipal Court. 

The violation happened at around noon Aug. 17, according to Dayton police.

Williams was sentenced to 60 days in jail, with all 60 days suspended. He will be on probation for one year, according to court records.

Army medic charged with rape, murder of 9-month-old twin daughter 

A U.S. Army medic stationed at Fort Campbell has been charged with sexually assaulting one of his 9-month-old twin daughters before strangling her to death with a cord, police said.

Christopher Paul Conway, 22, of Clarksville, Tennessee, is charged with homicide and the aggravated rape of a child, according to Montgomery County jail records. His bail was set at $100,000 on the rape charge, and he is being held without bond on the homicide. 

The Leaf-Chronicle in Clarksville reported that police officers were called around 7:20 a.m. Tuesday to Conway’s home, where they found family members giving the infant girl CPR. She was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

The Leaf-Chronicle reported that arrest warrants indicate the baby had injuries consistent with being raped. Investigators also said she died of injuries suffered when a cord was wrapped around her neck. 

The warrants said that Conway confessed to both crimes during an interview with police, the newspaper said

The infant girl’s twin sister was placed in foster care while Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services investigates. A DCS spokesman told the Leaf-Chronicle that the department had no prior contact with the family. 

>> Read more trending news

Conway’s Facebook page is filled with photos of him and his wife with their daughters. The photos include images of the girls in the hospital immediately after their birth and a photo of his legs in military fatigues, a tiny baby tucked into a pocket on each leg. 

According to Conway’s profile, he is a native of Grand Bay, Alabama. 

Army officials confirmed that Conway is a combat medic specialist stationed at Fort Campbell, Fox 17 in Nashville reported. Fort Campbell is located on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line between Clarksville and Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

It was not immediately clear how long Conway has been in the military, but neighbors told the news station that the family lived in the home where the slaying took place for a few months.  

Grandma: Toddler who lost mom in shooting keeps waiting for her

­­On Thursday morning, Monique Burston sat in court, bracing herself on the shoulder of a man at her side, and listened to how her daughter died, how a 9mm bullet tore through the 21-year-old’s back in a car on Interstate 20 in DeKalb County, Georgia.

Burston thought of her grandson. Demarko Cade Jr., 2, used to go to the window and wait for his mom to get home from work every day, Burston said. The young mom would load him into the car and they’d just drive, to nowhere in particular.

"He's still sitting by the window,” Burston said. 

>> Read more trending news

The child’s mother, Airiyuanna Burston, died Oct. 26. She’d been riding in her boyfriend’s Jeep on the interstate in DeKalb County when a gunshot flashed from the back seat, traveling through her seat into her.

When police arrived, they found that the boyfriend’s cousin, Gregory Neal, 22, had been seated behind the victim. 

The cousins made up a story about another driver firing into the car in a fit of road rage. But Neal admitted he’d done the shooting after Detective Krischan Payton told him cops found a shell casing in the floorboard where he’d been sitting, Payton testified Thursday.

After “numerous” interviews, Neal offered to take police back to the scene and show them where he’d hidden the 9mm pistol up an embankment.

Payton said Neal told him the pistol had been laying on the back seat under his backpack. Neal said he moved the backpack and somehow accidentally fired the gun, which police believe.

“It was not an intentional shooting,” the detective said.

Payton said he knew of no animosity between the victim and the shooter.

Monique Burston isn’t convinced it was an accident and said she wants police to investigate further and hear out her theories.

Neal is already facing a felony murder charge. 

Under Georgia law, the crime doesn’t require intent to kill; it only requires that a death occurred while someone committed a felony. In Neal’s case, it was a felony for him to have the gun at all because he has felony convictions from a burglary case, police said.

Before the gun fired, Airiyuanna Burston had been working in a warehouse, was about to start a second job and planned to attend Emory University. She wanted to be a lawyer.

Monique Burston hurts for the lost potential and the loss. She worries about her grandson as he waits by the window in the dark. 

“You can see he's empty,” she said.

Texas sheriff threatens to charge driver over graphic anti-Trump sticker

A Texas sheriff is getting angry feedback from free speech advocates after he wrote a Facebook post, which has since been deleted, threatening charges against a driver for a profane anti-Trump sticker on the window of her truck.

Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy E. Nehls posted a photo on his Facebook page Wednesday that showed a white GMC Sierra with a window decal that reads, “(EXPLETIVE) TRUMP AND (EXPLETIVE) YOU FOR VOTING FOR HIM.” The photo shared by Nehls was censored to block a portion of the offending word.

Similar images found online indicate that Nehls also blocked out a middle finger aimed at those reading the sticker. 

In Nehls’ now-deleted post, which was saved and shared by the ACLU, the sheriff asked anyone who knows the owner of the truck to contact his office. 

“I have received numerous calls regarding the offensive display on this truck, as it is often seen along FM 359,” Nehls wrote. “Our prosecutor has informed us she would accept disorderly conduct charges regarding it, but I feel we could come to an agreement regarding a modification to it.”

The ACLU, in turn, asked the driver of the truck to contact the ACLU of Texas. 

“No, Sheriff Troy E. Nehls, you can’t prosecute speech just because it contains words you don’t like,” the ACLU’s post read

The Texas branch of the organization also spoke out, posting on Facebook details of the constitutional protections for profane and indecent speech.

“Constitutional Law 101: You can’t ban speech just because it has (expletive) in it,” the post read. “Hey truck owner, feel free to contact the ACLU of Texas.”

The driver of the truck, Karen Fonseca, did reach out to the Houston Chronicle. Fonseca, 46, said the truck is her husband’s, but she often drives it.

She also said she used to work for Nehls in the county jail.

Fonseca told the Chronicle that the sticker attracted plenty of attention even before the sheriff learned of it. People often honk their horns and take pictures.

“It’s not to cause hate or animosity,” Fonseca told the newspaper. “It’s just our freedom of speech, and we’re exercising it.”

>> Read more trending news

She said police officers have pulled her over because of the sticker, but that they failed to come up with a reason to ticket her. She said she has no plan to contact her former boss about modifying the sticker. 

Fort Bend District Attorney John Healey told the Chronicle that the sticker does not constitute a criminal offense, no matter what one of his own prosecutors may have told Nehls. 

“I did not believe it was a prosecutable case based on the definition of disorderly conduct,” Healey said. 

Both Healey and Nehls are Republicans, the Chronicle reported. Though Healey is not running for re-election, Nehls is considering a bid for Congress. 

The sheriff said his concern was that the language on the sticker could cause a dangerous confrontation.

“Many families have called that have seen that truck on our county roadways and are very offended by the language on the truck,” Nehls said. “I think they’re walking a fine line.”

Judge ‘shamed’ jurors over guilty sex assault verdict, ethics panel finds

A Texas judge has been reprimanded by state judicial ethics officials after they found that she “shamed” jurors over their guilty verdict in a 2016 sexual assault case.

The jury foreperson told members of the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct in August that state District Judge Teresa Hawthorne said the panel’s “punishment was too harsh” and that she “did not believe the victim was raped at all.”

In a public reprimand issued last week, the commission concluded that Hawthorne’s conduct “constituted willful and/or persistent violations” of the Texas Code of Judicial Conduct and that those violations are “clearly inconsistent with the proper performance of her duties.”

The Dallas Morning News reported that Hawthorne, who is seeking a third term, will remain on the bench despite the reprimand. The judge declined to comment on the commission’s decision.  

Read the entire public reprimand here. 

The reprimand, which was issued Nov. 9, states that Hawthorne presided over the October 2016 trial of a defendant named Joe L. Garrison, who jurors found guilty of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to 99 years in prison. Garrison, 53, is imprisoned in the William “Bill” Clements Unit in Amarillo, Texas Department of Corrections records show

Hawthorne met with the jury after they rendered their decision in Garrison’s case. Three jurors, including the foreperson, told the commission that the judge admonished them on the verdict and accused them of not deliberating thoroughly enough.

“Quite frankly, I am disturbed,” Hawthorne said, according to one juror. “I am disturbed by the way you came back with such a harsh verdict and sentence for this man’s life in such a short time. Did you even discuss the details of the case at all?”

The juror said that Hawthorne went on to say that if she had been on the panel, there “would have been a hung jury.” She also said she wanted to hear from the defendant’s mother during the trial.

The testimony of the two other jurors mirrored the first woman’s statements to the commission, according to the reprimand. One of the three told commissioners that Hawthorne asked “how (they) could have a good conscience about (their) decision.”

The judge also told the panel that if any of them were selected as a juror in the future, they would “need to spend more time going over the facts, and that (they) should be sure that (they) give the defendant a fair decision on his or her being guilty, because she thought (they) convicted an innocent man.”

Hawthorne admitted to the commission that she told jurors she would have found Garrison not guilty, but she denied the other comments they attributed to her. 

“The judge denied that she shamed or reprimanded the jury for their verdict,” the commission document states. “She stated that she regrets ‘that all of this happened’ and that she ‘never intended to upset anyone,’ but she could not lie to the jury when they asked her what she thought of the case.”

The commission also reprimanded Hawthorne for intervening with a Lubbock County judge in a 2014 criminal case involving her nephew. In that instance, she emailed the judge in his case and requested that the warrant for her nephew’s arrest be withdrawn, the document says. 

>> Read more trending news

She also voluntarily testified on the nephew’s behalf in an August 2016 probation revocation hearing. 

“During her testimony, Judge Hawthorne referenced her judicial position on three separate occasions, and offered her opinion as to her nephew’s character,” the commission reprimand states

Hawthorne admitted that she testified without being subpoenaed in her nephew’s case, which violated a portion of the state Code of Judicial Conduct that states a judge shall not voluntarily testify as a character witness in a case. 

The commission found that she also violated judicial canon when she “used the prestige of her judicial office” to help resolve her nephew’s legal trouble and engaged in an “ex parte” conversation with the judge in the case. 

The Morning News reported that public reprimands for judges are rare, particularly when the judge receives two reprimands at the same time. 

A Democrat, Hawthorne took office in January 2011. She made waves that December when she ruled in a double murder case that the state’s death penalty statute was unconstitutional.

The Morning News reported at the time that Hawthorne argued the law allowed prosecutors to arbitrarily seek the death penalty. 

Her decision was later overturned and the murder case was reassigned to a new judge, the newspaper said

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