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February 2016


21 February 2016

We begin with 17-year-old Hayden Godfrey, a Smithfield, Utah, high-school student who felt sad because some girls at his school didn't receive flowers for Valentine's Day. Since age 14, he had given flowers to dozens of girls there anonymously, but this year he decided to expand the scale. By working as a grocery bagger, McDonald's cook, and dish-washer, he earned the $450 necessary to buy a carnation for each of the 834 female students. Volunteers distributed the flowers. Godfrey later wrote: 'I don't think anything can compare to seeing every girl in your life holding a flower as they walk through the halls.'

Malachi Love-Robinson has a history of dressing up as a doctor, and last February I reported on him doing so at a Florida hospital. No charges were filed then. Now that he's turned 18, he has upped his game, by setting up his own medical clinic, with which he claimed to be a registered physician. He rented space at a building used by doctors near West Palm Hospital, and thus the New Birth New Life Holistic and Alternative Medical Center & Urgent Care was born.
After a tip-off led to his arrest for both practising without a medical licence and stealing cheques from an 86-year-old patient, Love-Robinson said that he was 'deeply saddened and a little disrespected' by the charges.

Reuters reports on 21-year-old Dustin Taylor's decision that the police were the best people to contact for removal of his handcuffs. He and his wife had lost the key after 'doing some kinky things' the previous night. The police obliged Taylor, visiting his Fort Smith, Arkansas, home to remove the handcuffs, but Taylor was soon wearing a proper, police-issue pair: a routine search for Taylor's name in a police database revealed an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

Knowing that they were both intoxicated, Wisconsin thirty-somethings Jason Roth and Amanda Rose Eggert wanted to do the responsible thing when they needed to get home with their 11-month-old baby. Therefore, they gave their pickup truck keys to their nine-year-old daughter and asked her for a ride home. Police soon responded to a call about an erratic driver. The adults have entered a 'not guilty' plea with the Polk County court to charges of recklessly endangering safety and neglecting a child.
Eggert also faces charges connected with fisticuffs - she had cut her hand while snowmobiling earlier in the day, then started a fight with the paramedics.

About a year ago, Noela Rukundo attended her step-mother's funeral in her native Burundi. Her husband, Balenga Kalala, rang that evening from Australia and suggested that she deal with her sadness by getting some fresh air. Outside, she was kidnapped by gunmen, who later asked what she had done to merit a contract on her life, and she soon heard Kalala say 'Kill her' on speakerphone.
When she came around after fainting, she was told 'we don't kill women and children' and that 'we just want you to go back, to tell other stupid women like you what happened'. Rukundo said that she knew Kalala to be violent but never thought she'd be his target.
Three days later, Kalala - who had since paid an additional fee for the murder - was at home after receiving donations from mourners. Rukundo revealed herself and had him escorted from the property. He insisted that he was innocent until the police played incriminating phone conversations: the hit men had given Rukundo a memory card and records of his payments. Kalala then begged for forgiveness and explained that he'd thought Rukundo wanted to leave him.
He has now been sentenced to nine years in prison. Rukundo meanwhile is seeking a new place to live with her eight children, explaining that various members of Melbourne's Congolese community are upset at her for reporting Kalala to the police.

A man staggered down a street in Kuwait and then climbed on top of a car to perform a twerking-style dance. With traffic at a halt, the unidentified man climbed back down and washed his hands in a puddle. He then turned his hip-waggling to a police officer standing on the sidelines, next to his patrol car. The man then expanded his moves to kicking the cop in the face. After the officer hit the ground, members of the public rushed in and were able to delay things long enough for the miscreant to be arrested. Alcohol is believed to have been involved.

When Kent and Jill Easter arrived at their son's Irvine, California, school to collect him from after-school tennis lessons, he wasn't in his usual spot. The class's volunteer supervisor, PTA president Kelli Peters, suggested that perhaps he had been slow to queue up afterward. The couple, both lawyers, took this as a dig at the boy's intelligence, so they decided to get back at her. Over the next year, in 2010-11, they claimed that Peters had caused the boy to have anxiety attacks by leaving him unattended for extended periods, accused her of stalking the family, and finally planted drugs in her car.
The last of these played out with Kent using a fake Indian accent to report 'drugs, all over the place' in Peters's car. Officers worked out that the call had been made from near his law firm and that the drugs bore the Easters' DNA. Now, Kent's licence to practice law has been suspended, and now-ex-wife Jill has been disbarred. Together, they must pay $5.7 million in damages.
After the ruling, Peters said: 'I wouldn't have gone this far had they said they were sorry. This was [...] about standing up to people that pick on other people.'

Mississippi's Audy McCool, 52, and his son Michael, 29, visited McLemore Arms, a gun shop in Pearl River County, to collect the firearm they had dropped off for repairs. When the clerk told them that the weapon couldn't be repaired but they'd still have to pay the $25 service fee as agreed, they were unhappy, so she summoned her husband, shop-owner Jacob Edward McLemore, who arrived with his teenaged son to resolve matters. The resolution didn't go as she had hoped: four handguns were drawn - in unknown order - and Michael allegedly shot Jacob and his son several times with a .40-calibre pistol. Both died on the scene. Audy and Michael suffered life-threatening gunshot injuries and were taken to an area hospital. Police are investigating.


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© 2016 Anna Shefl