fbpx
Connect with us

Headlines

Tennessee Man Exonerated After Serving Nearly 15 Years in Prison

Published

on

After serving nearly 15 years of a lifetime sentence in a Nashville prison, Joseph Webster has been exonerated.

What We Know:

  • In 1998, Webster was convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Leroy Owens. Court documents state Owens was in a friend’s home when two men arrived in a white station wagon. Witness say the men began to beat Owens over what they believed to be a drug debt. He was able to escape but they eventually caught up to him in a parking lot where he was fatally assaulted with a cinderblock.
  • At the time, witnesses identified Webster as Owens’ murderer. The suspect was described as man with a medium build weighing around 160 pounds. There were no other distinguishing features named by the witnesses. Webster, however, weighed about 300 pounds and wore a gold grill in his mouth that his family said could be seen from across the street.
  • Webster’s brother, Kenny Neal, later admitted to committing the crime. He bragged to his girlfriend at the time about chasing down Owens and beating him up. His mother along with other relatives let authorities know it was Neal who killed Owens not Webster. Upon seeing a photograph of Neal one of the witnesses who originally identified Webster said Neal was the actual perpetrator and their testimony was recanted three times under oath. The weapon used to kill Owens was also tested for Webster’s DNA and none was discovered.
  • All the evidence clearly showing Webster’s innocence was not presented at the original trial. In 2016, the Davidson County Conviction Review Unit was established. Webster was the first to apply for review according to his lawyer, Daniel Horwitz. His lawyer said, “It was very clear to me that the evidence against him was extremely weak, that the investigation into this murder had been sloppy and incomplete at best, and that this was a very serious innocence claim.”
  • Webster’s exoneration is also the first in Nashville’s history since the review unit was created. After a four year effort pushed by Horwitz and his team, the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office announced it. “The Conviction Review Unit no longer has confidence in the conviction of Mr. Webster…We recommend Mr. Webster’s conviction be vacated and the charges against him dismissed.”
  • Last Tuesday night, Webster was released and met with an embrace from his mother. A video from NBC affiliate WSMV in Nashville showed his emotional mother holding her son while exclaiming, “Oh God is good, Joseph! You home baby. Oh Lord have mercy”. That night, Webster told WSMV how happy he was; the hardest part was over he said and now he had to deal with this part, the best part. His sons were elated to finally see their father as a free man. His lawyer says Webster went straight to his mother’s home after his release and ate his first home cooked meal in 15 years.

Although the system failed Webster, he is not letting the time loss rule the rest of his life. He plans on restoring his voting rights, getting his driver’s license, and hopes to start his own trucking business.

Comments

comments

Coronavirus

Couple Who Tested Positive for Covid-19 Are Arrested after Boarding Flight

Published

on

Courtesy of Star-Advertiser

A couple in Hawaii face reckless endangerment charges after entering a flight with their 4-year-old son, although they had tested positive for Covid-19, officials state.

What We Know:

  • A spokesperson for Kauai police stated Wednesday, the couple, Wesley Moribe and Courtney Peterson, knew they had tested positive as they boarded a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Lihue. San Francisco International Airport officials had told them to isolate and not to travel, yet they did not listen and boarded the flight.
  • When Moribe and Peterson arrived at Lihue Airport, police accompanied them to an isolation room for additional processing and investigation.

  • Moribe, 41, and Peterson, 46, Wailua residents, were arrested on second-degree reckless endangerment charges. A family member took their son home, and Child Protective Services was notified.

“They knowingly boarded a flight aware of their positive COVID-19 test results, placing the passengers of the flight in danger of death,” Coco Zickos, the Public Information Officer at Kaua‘i Police Department said in a statement.

  • A spokesman for the Hawaii Covid-19 Joint Information Center said Wednesday that the state Health Department is informed when someone tests positive and that the couple was aware of their diagnosis before entering the San Francisco flight.

  • The airline’s website states, “Following CDC guidelines, you will not be able to travel on United for at least ten days after the date you tested positive and only after you have two successive negative COVID-19 results that were administered at least 24 hours apart.”
  • Moribe and Peterson are banned from any United flights, and an investigation has been initiated, a spokesperson for the airline said.

The couple was arrested and charged with reckless endangering in the second degree before being transported to Lihue Headquarters and booked. The couple posted bail, which was set at $1,000. The couple could face up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine if sentenced.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Entertainment

Getty Images and GLAAD Team Up for New Transgender Photo Guidelines

Published

on

Getty Images and GLAAD have teamed up in an effort to improve transgender representation in the community.

What We Know:

  • New guidelines were released Wednesday by Getty Images and GLAAD. Getty Images is one of the world’s largest stock photo agencies, while GLAAD is a national LGBTQ advocacy organization. These guidelines will help photographers around the world capture the transgender community more accurately as well as give them more media representation.
  • The guidelines were put into place in hopes of giving the transgender community representation. Increased photography of transgender individuals will help normalize these individuals.
  • In an interview with NBC News, GLAAD’s director of transgender representation, Nick Adams, commented on the collaboration. “Stock images tell a story without words,” Adams commented, “When those images don’t reflect the full diversity that exists within the transgender community, then our story isn’t being told in an authentic way.”
  • There has been a demand for transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming people in Getty Images stock. According to Campaign Live, “keyword searches on Getty Images for “transgender” increased 129% year-over-year, searches for “nonbinary” increased 334%. “In the past, trans images in stock photography have included many tropes and cliches or even replaced actual transgender people with impersonal symbols like flags,” Adams said. The demand for these images motivated Getty Images to collab with GLAAD.
  • The guidelines give models the control over how they are referred to in captions. This will allow for no assumptions to be made of their gender identity. Photographers have also been given guidelines to make transgender subjects comfortable and empowered while on set.
  • Simply shooting the individuals is not the goal. The photography will not perpetuate harmful stereotypes of the trans community as well as create tokens of the individuals. Guy Merrill, global head of art at Getty Images and Stock, talked of the importance of the images, “We are not looking for our contributors to go out and just shoot some portraits of transgender persons. That is not the point at all,” Merrill said. “It’s that level of nuance that brings in that authenticity in terms of people you choose. It is all those small moments that really kind of authentically tell that broader story.”

While Getty Images will not be able to force any company to use their new stock imagery of trans and nonbinary individuals, it will expose companies to the imagery as well as give them more options to include the individuals.

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Coronavirus

Oscars 2021 ‘Will Happen’ in Person, Academy Says

Published

on

The annual Oscar’s award ceremony is expected to happen in person this year. 

What We Know: 

  • A representative from the Academy and ABC told Variety“The Oscars in-person telecast will happen”. 
  • The Oscars have been pushed back two months to April 25th, 2021. The Academy is hopeful that theaters will reopen in the spring allowing more films to compete for awards. 
  • In the event theaters stay closed, the Oscars are steady in their efforts to remain live. Questions have risen on how many people will be allowed in the Los Angeles Dolby Theatre where the show has traditionally taken place; the theatre seats 3,400. 
  • As the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the film industry was hit hard. Movie theaters closed and film and TV production stopped. Because of the unusual circumstances, the Academy extended the eligilbity timeline from December 31st to February 28th. Additionally, films that premiered on streaming platforms will also qualify for submission. 
  • In-person attendance may stir controversy among some of the attendees. Some attendees may not be able to or agree to in-person attendance due to the virus’ dangers. Especially considering older nominees who are more at risk for the virus.

As award season approaches, the events must decide whether to stay virtual, hold the event in person, or create a hybrid. Award season starts with the Golden Globes in February. The show will air live hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The Critic Choice awards and the SAG awards are set to air in March. Whether they will be digital or live is unknown. 

Comments

comments

Continue Reading

Trending