Saturday, August 23 2014 3:45 PM EDT2014-08-23 19:45:44 GMT
A senior Hamas leader says the group signed a pledge to back any Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court. Such a step could expose Israel - as well as Hamas - to war crimes investigations.More >>
Israel bombed an apartment tower in downtown Gaza City on Saturday, collapsing the 12-story building in an unprecedented strike, while Hamas kept up heavy rocket fire that sent more Israelis fleeing border areas close to...More >>
Saturday, August 23 2014 3:35 PM EDT2014-08-23 19:35:39 GMT
Organizers expect up to 5,000 people to attend a march protesting the death of an unarmed black man who died after being placed in a chokehold by a white New York police officer.More >>
Thousands of people expressing grief, anger and hope for a better future marched peacefully through Staten Island on Saturday to protest the chokehold death of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.More >>
Saturday, August 23 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-23 19:28:26 GMT
After starting in Kentucky earlier in the month of August, post about "Purge" events have quickly spread across the country. It all started in Louisville, when a picture popped up on social media statingMore >>
The Montgomery Police Department say they have been made aware of the picture that is circulating social media, and are taking the matter very seriously.More >>
Saturday, August 23 2014 2:55 PM EDT2014-08-23 18:55:59 GMT
Iceland's Meteorological Office is reporting a surge in seismic activity at the restless Bardarbunga volcano, but sees no evidence yet of any eruptions.More >>
Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano began erupting Saturday under the ice of Europe's largest glacier, prompting the country to close the airspace over the volcano.More >>
ALEXANDER CITY, AL (WSFA) -
A 20+ year career with the
Alexander City Police Department ended abruptly, on the wrong side of the
courtroom, for Corporal Michael Patrick Ford.
Ford was originally charged with
3 counts of child sex abuse. By the time his case went before a grand
jury, fresh evidence had amplified the investigation.
A grand jury
returned a 12 count indictment: 5 counts of sex abuse of a child less than 12
years of age, second degree sex abuse, 3 counts of sodomy second, incest, tampering
with evidence and theft.
"Cases of this nature typically get pushed to
the front burners because they are significantly serious cases," explained Tallapoosa County District
Attorney, E. Paul Jones.
The Tallapoosa County Sheriff's
Office took the lead on the investigation, as a neutral party. Sheriff Jimmy
Abbett describes any crime involving the badge as upsetting, something no
officer wants to discover. "It's a sad note. That officer has taken the
oath, and has sworn to uphold that oath, then goes against it," the sheriff said.
Ford was terminated promptly
after charges were filed, but the story doesn't end there. Another
officer, Lieutenant Randy Walters, was also arrested in connection to the
A grand jury indicted Walters on conspiracy for tampering with
evidence. Robinson remains on the job, engaged in a pretrial diversion
program. Acting Alex City Police Chief Willie Robinson stands behind his
decision to keep Walters on the force saying, "I believe he learned his lesson."
Jones now faces a difficult task:
preparing children under the age of 12 to testify about something they don't
fully understand. "These acts are outside their realm of knowledge and
vocabulary, so they have a hard time describing what has taken place. In some
cases, they really don't know what's right or wrong, because the person who is
doing the abusing is oftentimes the person who's charged with the
responsibility of teaching them with what's right and what's wrong."
An investigation is still underway and there's
no word if additional charges will be filed.
Ford is expected to stand
trial before the end of the year.
If he is found guilty on the current 12
counts, he could spend the remainder of his life behind bars.