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Eric Frein Manhunt Slowed by Explosives


Pennsylvania Department of Transportation(NEW YORK) -- Police searching for an accused cop killer in the dense woods of the Poconos Mountains have found explosives believed to belong to the suspect, Eric Frein, a law enforcement source told ABC News.

The manhunt for Frein has entered its third week. Police have previously said they were being cautious searching cabins and caves near the border of Pike and Monroe counties in eastern Pennsylvania for fear that Frein may have set booby-traps.

Frein is accused of shooting two state troopers, killing one, at the Blooming Grove police barracks on Sept. 12, before fleeing into the woods.

Police have also found the suspect's abandoned Jeep, soiled diapers, Serbian cigarettes and an AK-47 in the search.

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Arsonist Suspected of Setting 23 Fires in Washington State


iStock/Thinkstock(SPOKANE, Wash.) -- Fire officials in Washington state suspect an arsonist is responsible for igniting 23 fires in the past few weeks, including one that burned through eight acres and put Spokane County residents on edge.

Nearly all of the fires happened in the Greenacres area. Most were small brush fires, but several homes have been threatened, ABC News affiliate KXLY reported.

"We're blessed that nobody has been injured yet, but that's just a matter of time," Greenacres resident Carolyn Staples told KXLY.

Two of the fires were set in vacant model homes. The first blaze was the Saltese Lake Fire on Sept. 18.

Officials have asked the public to be vigilant, report any suspicious persons and keep an eye on their security cameras.

The hunt for an arsonist was a personal mission for one Spokane firefighter.

Greg Godfrey, an assistant chief of Spokane County Fire District #8, worked in California when a fellow firefighter was convicted of setting about 2,000 fires in the Los Angeles area in the 1980s and 1990s. John Orr, who was a captain and arson investigator at the Glendale Fire Department, is now serving life in prison.

"The fire department is a family," Godfrey told KXLY. "We're a very tight-knit group of individuals. We have to trust each other.

"He betrayed that," Godfrey added. "He put our people in jeopardy."

One of the California fires killed four people, but Godfrey hopes officials catch the Washington arsonist before anyone gets hurt.

"We've been lucky," he told the station. "We've had small fires and one that started to get big, but we've been extremely lucky."

Spokane County Fire District officials did not immediately return a call from ABC News.

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Ark. Real Estate Agent Targeted Because She Was 'Woman that Worked Alone'


Pulaski County Sherrif's Office(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) -- The man accused of kidnapping and killing Arkansas real estate agent Beverly Carter said Tuesday she was targeted because she was "a woman that worked alone."

Aaron Lewis, an ex-con, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of capital murder, robbery and kidnapping in connection with Carter's death. He is being held on $1 million bail.

Lewis, 33, admitted during police questioning to kidnapping Carter, 50, Pulaski County Sheriff's Lt. Carl Minden told ABC News. Lewis did not admit to the slaying and did not provide any details about Carter's whereabouts, Minden said.

The suspect spoke briefly to reporters Tuesday morning as he was taken from the jail to the sheriff's office, where he was to be interviewed again after spending more than 12 hours with investigators Monday.

When asked by reporters why Carter was targeted, Lewis responded: "Because she was just a woman that worked alone -- a rich broker." He denied killing her.

Carter's body was found in a shallow grave at the Argos Concrete Co., about 20 miles from the town of Scott, Arkansas, where Carter had an appointment to show a house for sale.

Carter's family issued a statement Tuesday, saying, "We are devastated at the loss of our precious Beverly. There is now a hole in our hearts that will never be filled. Mr. Lewis robbed us of an amazing wife, loving mother and grandmother. Her grandkids will never get to the know the magnitude of her greatness."

The real estate agent's disappearance had rattled her colleagues, most of them women, who routinely agree to meet strangers at empty homes that are for sale.

"They're scared, and I need someone to give them some reassurance," said Brenda Rhoads, the principal broker at the real estate company where Carter worked.

Rhoads, who was good friends with Carter and worked with her for nine years, told ABC News that she arranged for a police detective to come and speak to her colleagues at Crye Leike Real Estate Services Monday to try and calm their fears.

Some have said that Carter, a 50-year-old grandmother, should not have met the prospective buyer alone, but Rhoads dismissed those critiques, saying, "That's our job."

"I would say that 80 percent of my agents are women, but the men, they are devastated, too," she said.

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University of Michigan AD Admits Mistakes in Handling of Quarterback


Leon Halip/Getty Images(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) -- University of Michigan quarterback Shane Morris suffered a mild concussion Saturday, but was kept in the game because of miscommunications and confusion among sideline personnel, athletic director Dave Brandon said in a statement Tuesday.

Brandon said the university is changing its procedures to prevent a similar situation in the future.

"We have to learn from this situation, and moving forward, we will make important changes so we can fully live up to our shared goal of putting student-athlete safety first," Brandon said in the statement, which was released Tuesday morning.

Brandon’s statement was issued roughly 12 hours after coach Brady Hoke said he’d been given no indication that Morris was diagnosed with a concussion.

Much of the confusion involved an ankle injury Morris sustained earlier during the 30-14 loss to the University of Minnesota.

During the fourth quarter, he was steamrolled by Minnesota’s Theiren Cockran, leaving Morris visibly dazed and wobbly. The quarterback leaned on a teammate for support, but remained in the game for the next play, and even waved off someone on the sideline, possibly signaling that he wanted to play.

“From the field level and without the benefit of replays, medical and coaching staffs did not see the hit,” Brandon said in the statement. “Because they did not see the hit, the athletic training staff believed Shane stumbled because of his ankle injury.”

Since the athletic trainer on the sidelines was unaware that a neurological evaluation was necessary, the quarterback was cleared for an additional play, Brandon said.

Morris was diagnosed with a probable, mild concussion Sunday, Brandon said. That diagnosis was not shared with Hoke before the coach’s Monday news conference, when he defended his team’s handling of the situation.

"We would never ever put a guy on the field when there is a possibility with head trauma," Hoke said Monday.

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NFL: Chiefs Player Should Not Have Been Penalized for Prayer


Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- The Kansas City Chiefs player who was penalized after kneeling to pray in the end zone Monday night should not have been flagged, an NFL spokesman said Tuesday.

Kansas City Chiefs' safety Husain Abdullah, a devout Muslim, was penalized 15 yards for "unsportsmanlike conduct" after he kneeled in prayer. He had run 39 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter in the team’s 41-14 victory over the New England Patriots at Arrowhead Stadium.

"Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct following his fourth quarter touchdown," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told ABC News in a statement.

He said the NFL's Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 (d) states "players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground."

"However, the officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression, and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play," the NFL's statement read.

Abdullah speculated to the Kansas City Star that the referee may not have liked that he slid on both knees.

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Police Recover Body of Missing Arkansas Real Estate Agent


Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) -- The body of missing Arkansas real estate agent Beverly Carter has been found, authorities have confirmed to ABC News. 

Police found Carter's body overnight in Cabot, Arkansas, one day after arresting the case's main suspect, Arron Lewis.

Lewis admitted to kidnapping Carter after police questioned him all night. He did not admit to murder, nor did he provide any details of Carter's whereabouts, leaving police to recover the missing realtor using other information, which they have declined to disclose.

Lewis now faces a capital murder charge in addition to kidnapping.  He is scheduled to appear in court later Tuesday morning.


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Kansas City Chiefs Fans Reclaim Guinness World Record for Crowd Noise


Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) -- Kansas City Chiefs fans were as loud as a jet engine Monday.

Fans at Arrowhead Stadium reclaimed the Guinness World Record for the loudest crowd roar during the team's victory against the New England Patriots: 142.2 decibels, similar to the intensity of a jet engine at takeoff.

The roar topped the previous record, 137.6 decibels, at Seattle’s CenturyLink Field last year.

Kansas City’s fans registered a roar of 137.5 decibels earlier last season.

 

We did it. #LoudAndProud #ChiefsKingdom pic.twitter.com/qrNHbXc5MA

— Kansas City Chiefs (@KCChiefs) September 30, 2014

 

The Chiefs handed out ear plugs as fans entered the stadium gates Monday, a chance for attendees to preserve their hearing.

The team matched the fan intensity on the field, topping the Patriots 41-14. Running back Jamaal Charles led the way with three touchdowns.

It marked the Chiefs’ first home victory since last season, Oct. 27.

After the win, Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith reflected on the team’s fan support. “It’s been a little while since we won here,” he told ESPN. “We’ve got the best fans in the country, and they proved it again tonight.”

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Texas Hospital Evaluating Patient for Possible Ebola


Creatas/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- A patient at a Texas hospital has been isolated and is being evaluated to determine whether or not he or she has contracted the Ebola virus.

Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas said the patient was placed into strict isolation because of the patient's symptoms and recent travel history.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expects to have preliminary test results on the patient Tuesday, the hospital said.

The Ebola virus has killed at least 2,909 in West Africa and infected at least 3,000 more, according to the World Health Organization.

International and U.S. health officials have warned the outbreak could infect 1.4 million people in West Africa by January if more is not done to stop the disease.


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Seattle: The Number One City for Coffee Snobs


iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- If you had to select any city in the U.S. with the most discerning coffee addicts, chances are Seattle would be at the top of most people’s lists.

That’s the case of a combined Redfin and Foursquare survey, which picked Seattle as number one in the ten best cities for so-called “coffee snobs.”

Just to clarify, Redfin and Foursquare based their findings on indie coffee shops, that is, those with under ten locations in a given city.

So although Starbucks is excluded, Seattle still winds up as the ultimate U.S. mecca for picky coffee drinkers.

Here's the rest of the top 10:

  1. Seattle, WA
  2. Portland, OR
  3. Boulder, CO
  4. San Francisco, CA
  5. Denver, CO
  6. San Diego, CA
  7. Madison, WI
  8. Austin, TX
  9. Minneapolis-ST. Paul, MN
  10. Sacramento, CA

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Contract Employee Accused of Setting Fire That Grounded Chicago Flights Appears Before Magistrate


Vladek/iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- Brian Howard, the 36-year-old man who allegedly started the fire at a Federal Aviation Administration facility near Chicago that prompted the delay or cancellation of hundreds of flights, appeared before a federal magistrate on Monday.

Howard said he understood the charges against him and the possible penalties he faces before waiving a preliminary hearing. The case will next be assigned to a federal district court judge, though no start date was scheduled.

Howard was not asked to enter a plea at Monday's hearing.

He was arrested on Monday after being released from a local medical center.

After the hearing, Howard's attorney Ron Safer said that his client had attempted to end his life on Friday when he set the fire, calling those actions a "tragic mistake."

Safer did not say whether Howard will contest the charges against him, noting that "only someone who is deeply troubled would do that."

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Suspect in Hannah Graham Disappearance Tied to 2009 Murder: Police


Galveston County Sheriff's Office(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- A forensic connection has been made between the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham and the 2009 murder of a student in Charlottesville.

Virginia State police announced Monday that the suspect who has been arrested in connection to Graham's disappearance has some physical connection to the death of Morgan Harrington.

Harrington was a student at Virginia Tech who disappeared after attending a Metallica concert in Charlottesville near the University of Virginia in 2009.

"For the past five years, the Virginia State Police has been aggressively pursuing the investigation into the disappearance and death of 20-year-old Morgan D. Harrington of Roanoke, Va. Last week, the arrest of Jesse L. Matthew Jr., 32, of Charlottesville, Va., provided a significant break in this case with a new forensic link for state police investigators to pursue," Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said in a statement Monday.

Matthew was arrested in Galveston, Texas, last week and will appear in court on Thursday in Virginia to face the charges of abduction with intent to defile Graham.

If the forensic evidence that connects the two cases holds true, there is likely another victim linked to the suspect. Police investigating Harrington's death in 2009 determined that DNA on her body connected the perpetrator to a 2005 abduction and rape of a woman in Fairfax, Virginia.

"We know there's one predator who killed Morgan," the girl's mother, Gil Harrington, told ABC News last week.

In the 2005 incident, a man grabbed a 26-year-old woman from behind, forced her into a wooded area and sexually assaulted her. The alleged assailant fled after being startled.

Earlier this month, Gil Harrington said it was "too speculative" to draw a direct link to Graham's disappearance and her daughter's killer, but she was struck by the "coincidences."

"College town, same town, same kind of look of a girl, same time of year," she said. "Is this a pattern?"

"Hannah was seen for some of the time fairly close to where Morgan’s shirt was found maybe three weeks after her abduction," Harrington said.

Virginia State Police did not reveal any specific details about the nature of the evidence that they found connecting the two cases, but they have asked the public to call in with any information relating to the Harrington case. They also stressed that their main focus remains on locating Graham and bringing her home.

"There is a still a great deal of work to be done in regards to this investigation and we appreciate the public’s patience as we move forward," Geller said in the statement.

Calls to Matthew's attorney were not immediately returned.

Matthew was seen with Graham, 18, shortly after 1 a.m. on Saturday Sept. 13. Police found surveillance footage and witnesses who allegedly saw the pair at a bar together. Police said that Matthew was the last person seen with Graham.

Matthew went to the Charlottesville police a week after Graham disappeared, and then sped off erratically before actually speaking to investigators. Four days later, a sheriff's deputy in Galveston took Matthew into custody after receiving a tip from a woman who spotted him.

He waived his right to fight extradition and was brought back to Virginia on Friday. He was first brought to the Charlottesville Police Department before being taken to the Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Jail where he is being held until a his bond hearing on Thursday.

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Texas 'Black Widow' Killer Found Guilty of Murder


Comstock/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(DALLAS) -- Michele Williams, the Texas woman accused of killing her husband over his insurance policy, was found guilty of murder and tampering with evidence on Monday.

Williams, dubbed "the Black Widow" by Dallas-based media, had stood accused of shooting her husband in the head on Oct. 13, 2011. After closing arguments concluded at about 11 a.m. on Monday, the jury deliberated for about seven hours.

Then, on Monday night, the jury returned with a verdict. Williams was found guilty of murder and tampering with a firearm.

The punishment phase of the case is expected to begin on Tuesday morning.

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Texas Doctor Sentenced 10 Years for Poisoning Lover


iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) -- The Texas doctor convicted last week of poisoning her lover was sentenced on Monday to 10 years in prison.

Dr. Ana Gonzalez-Angulo, who was found guilty of aggravated assault Friday, was charged after prosecutors said she spiked Dr. George Blumenschein's coffee in 2013 with ethylene glycol, a sweet-tasting chemical found in antifreeze.

“I am very grateful; justice has been served," Blumenschein said at the start of the trial's sentencing phase Friday.

Gonzalez-Angulo, 43, and Blumenschein, 50, both worked as oncologists at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Blumenschein's girlfriend had testified in court last week that he suspected his mistress, Gonzalez-Angulo, was responsible but that he was afraid to contact authorities.

Evette Toney told a Houston courtroom about how she found out her boyfriend, Blumenschein, was having an affair with fellow cancer researcher Gonzalez-Angulo at the prestigious cancer center.

Prosecutors said Gonzalez-Angulo spiked Blumenschein's coffee after he picked Toney over her.

The poisoning left Blumenschein with permanent kidney damage, according to testimony from doctors who treated him.

Gonzalez-Angulo had pleaded not guilty, and could have faced up to life in prison.

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Tony Stewart Willing to Talk to Kevin Ward Jr.'s Family


Andy Lyons/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- A subdued Tony Stewart spoke publicly on Monday for the first time since the death of driver Kevin Ward Jr., but he said he did not feel the need to speak to Ward's family because "I know it was an accident."

Stewart was sympathetic to Ward's family, which issued a statement over the weekend suggesting that prosecutors treated Stewart lightly because of his status in the racing world when they determined Ward's death was an accident. Ward was killed last month when he walked angrily on an upstate New York dirt track during a sprint car race and was struck by Stewart's car.

"I want to be available to them," Stewart said. But he added, "I don't need to talk to them for closure....I know it was an accident."

He also deplored people "picking sides" in the case.

"It's not about picking sides. A young man lost his life. His family is in mourning. My family is in mourning," Stewart said.

He criticized people who are picking sides "instead of honoring a racer."

"It's like watching people throw darts at each other," Stewart said, adding, "It doesn't solve anything, it doesn't fix anything. In the end, it doesn't help anybody."

Stewart's remarks came a day after Ward's aunt released a long statement.

"Tell me how a NASCAR star totally forgot what caution means," Wendi Ward wrote. "Maybe he should get a different headset so he is able to hear on the radio that the car in caution is up high, so go low. Or was he low until he rounded the corner and saw Kevin Jr. standing up for himself?"

Ward's aunt questioned why a toxicology test was done on her nephew. The test found marijuana in Ward's system.

"Why was the toxicology report even an issue? Seems to me the wrong man was on trial," Wendi Ward wrote in the open letter shared with ABC News four days after a grand jury investigation determined there was insufficient evidence to indict Stewart.

Stewart declined to address the marijuana finding.

"Honestly, for me it doesn't change anything," he said.

Stewart repeated a statement he made shortly after the grand jury declined to press charges against him.

"I know in my heart it was 100 percent an accident," he said.

Stewart said in the days after the fatal accident "I didn't care if I showered, I forced myself to eat," and said he didn't want to talk to anybody.

"Hopefully, through this I will somehow be a better person," he said.

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Jodi Arias' Death Penalty Trial: What to Expect


ABC News (PHOENIX) -- About 300 potential jurors arrived at an Arizona courthouse Monday for the start of the final phase of Jodi Arias' marathon murder trial.

The selected jurors won’t determine whether Arias, 29, is guilty or innocent in the 2008 slaying of her sometime-lover Travis Alexander. She has already been found guilty by a different jury. The new jury's decision will be whether to sentence Arias to death.

Arias' first trial in 2013 lasted five months, was streamed live and had so much raunchy sex in the testimony, evidence photos and text messages that it would have gotten an X-rating if it were a movie.

The former Arizona waitress admitted shooting Alexander, but claimed he was an abusive lover who slammed her to the bathroom floor after she dropped his expensive new camera while taking nude photos of him in the shower. She claimed she ran for a gun and shot him as he charged her. She didn't remember, however, stabbing him 29 times, slashing his throat and making a stealthy getaway.

The jury that found Arias guilty then deadlocked on whether to condemn her to death. If the new jury also cannot decide on the death penalty, she will automatically be sentenced to life in prison, although she would be eligible for parole after 25 years.

Here's what to expect:

ANOTHER MARATHON

Even jury selection for the trial is anticipated to take up to three weeks. The testimony will likely drag on until mid-December, the court has said. That could be an optimistic assessment. During the first trial, the lawyers for both sides objected constantly, requiring numerous and lengthy sidebars.

WILL SHE TESTIFY?

It’s unclear whether Arias will take the stand in her own defense this time around. She spent 18 tear-soaked days on the stand during her first trial recounting in cringe-worthy detail the sexual demands that Alexander allegedly made of her and why she could not remember stabbing him numerous times, disposing of the gun and then driving hundreds of miles with her cellphone turned off.

If her legal team listens to the jury that convicted Arias, they may want to keep her off the stand. William Zervakos, the foreman of the jury that convicted Arias, met with the defense team later and told them Arias "was her own worst enemy" and a "terrible defendant."

Arias and her legal team, however, rarely agree. Arias, who said she wanted to die after the guilty verdict, has changed her mind and is fighting for her life. She may decide to take the stand anyway.

THE ARIAS LEGAL TEAM

Arias and her top lawyer do not like each other. Kirk Nurmi, charged with her defense, has tried to quit the case, but the court has refused to let him off. Arias tried unsuccessfully to fire Nurmi, complaining in a handwritten motion to the court that he was "curt, rude and condescending." When that didn't work, she was granted permission to represent herself. As the court date neared, however, she changed her mind and Nurmi is again her lawyer.

THE PROSECUTION

Prosecutor Juan Martinez was aggressive, prompting one of Arias' lawyers to plead with the judge to make him stop yelling at a witness. Several of Arias' expert witnesses have refused to come back because testifying the first time was too traumatic.

COURT RULES

Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens has ruled that this trial will be much different. The daily stream of lurid testimony and Arias' emotional behavior that filled tabloid reports will be stopped. While cameras can record the trial, no video is to be aired until after the verdict is delivered.

ARIAS FOR SALE

Jodi Arias has been churning out paintings from prison and sells copies online, with the money going to her defense fund. She has also sold some of her personal effects. Earlier this month she auctioned off the glasses she wore during her first trial. The money, according to her site, went to charity.

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