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ABC News(APALACHICOLA, Fla.) -- Post-tropical storm Nestor made landfall in Florida Saturday, and while it continues to lose steam, heavy rain and gusty winds are expected to impact parts of Southeast U.S.

Nestor touched down on St. Vincent Island, near Apalachicola, around 2:15 p.m. ET.

The storm is no longer a tropical storm and is now considered a post-tropical low-pressure system. However, the storm will continue to race up the Southeast coast Saturday night into Sunday.

Much of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina can expect heavy rain and high winds Saturday afternoon.

A tornado watch for much of Florida was no longer in effect. There were four reported tornadoes in the Tampa Bay metro area overnight.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office said it had not received any reports of serious injuries related to the tornadoes. However, many residents sustained damage to their homes, some of which were severe, according to the sheriff's office.

The National Weather Service was surveying the damage from the tornadoes in Polk County and Pinellas County Saturday morning.

On Sunday, Nestor will slide up the East Coast and bring heavy rain to parts of the Mid-Atlantic, including Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. Once again, there will be at least some marginal severe probabilities in parts of Eastern North Carolina.

Nestor will quickly be pushed eastward on Sunday night and Monday, with the majority of the storm heading into the Atlantic. While some showers and gusty winds will be possible, impacts should be kept to a minimum in much of the Northeast.

Attention will immediately turn to a new storm developing in the West, that will race across the country this week, bringing rain and mountain snow to the Pacific Northwest. This is typical for fall, as low-pressure systems begin to trek further and further into the mid-latitudes due to colder air gaining strength in the Arctic.

The storm is also causing gusty winds ahead of the frontal system, which could briefly cause pockets of fire danger from California to the Rocky Mountains.

Late Sunday and early Monday, as the storm heads into the Central U.S., it will spark a line of intense storms and heavy rain. There is a chance for some severe weather across Northern Texas, parts of Oklahoma and Arkansas. The threats will be damaging winds, large hail and possible tornadoes.

Then on Monday and into early Tuesday, heavy rain and severe storms will move into parts of the southern U.S., especially the Mississippi River Valley. There will be a potential for a few tornadoes in this round of severe weather. This classic fall severe weather set-up looks like it could be the most notable severe weather in the last couple of months.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


JONGHO SHIN/iStock(NEW ORLEANS) --  The controlled demolition for the cranes at the partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel in New Orleans has been delayed, officials said Saturday.

The two cranes are "more damaged" than experts initially thought, which forced them to change their course of action, New Orleans Fire Department chief Timothy McConnell said at a news conference.

The cranes were supposed to come down Friday, but McConnell said he now believes it won't happen until noon Sunday at the earliest.

"If they tell us it's too dangerous to do it one way," authorities will go with the experts and prioritize a new plan, he said.

The cranes, which each weigh 145,000 pounds, have been a source of major concern. Both have continuously swayed since the under-construction building's collapse on Oct. 12, which left three dead and dozens injured.

Experts are using small explosives, known as energetic materials, to bring the cranes down.

The goal is that they will come down in the same place as they are standing. However, McConnell noted that because of how unstable the cranes are, they might not fall as experts hope.

"That's our goal, but it may not happen that way," he said.

Residents in the nearby area will be evacuated starting four hours before the crane's official demolition.

The bodies of two men who died are still inside the building. Authorities have not been able to reach them but hope that they will be able to recover the bodies.

Officials have not yet said what caused the collapse. Ten of the victims injured filed a lawsuit Friday against five companies involved in the construction, citing negligence.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


iStock/Kuzma(FORT WORTH, Texas) -- Family and friends of Atatiana Jefferson, the 28-year-old woman fatally shot by a Fort Worth police officer in her home last week, will have to wait to pay their respects after a judge halted Saturday’s scheduled funeral.

At the request of the victim’s father, Marquis Jefferson, Dallas County Probate Court Judge Brenda Hull Thompson issued the temporary restraining order Friday to postpone the funeral. The father claimed he had no control over his daughter’s funeral and burial arrangements, which were planned by Atatiana Jefferson’s aunt, Bonita Body.

Lee Merritt, the attorney for Brody, confirmed Saturday the funeral had been postponed. He lamented the family having to deal with this family dispute publicly.

“This family, like most families, is dealing with internal disputes," Merritt said in a statement Saturday. "Unfortunately, due to the public outcry concerning Atatiana’s murder, they are being forced to go through this tragedy publicly. Please respect their privacy as the family resolves this conflict.”

Marquis Jefferson, according to court documents, argued that, as the surviving parent and his daughter's heir, he should be the one planning her funeral. The documents also state that he was denied any involvement by the funeral home.

“Good cause exists to limit the right of Bonita Body to control the funeral and burial of Atatiana Jefferson because … Marquis A. Jefferson, as the parent, has priority of the persons that are allowed under the Code to control the decedent’s funeral and burial arrangements,” Marquis Jefferson’s temporary restraining order application states. “Applicant prays that after notice and hearing on this matter, the Court to restrain Bonita Body, Golden Gate Funeral home and others acting in concert with them to control the funeral and burial of Atatiana Jefferson.”

Body’s funeral for Atatiana Jefferson was planned for 2 p.m. Saturday before the judge postponed it. Thompson scheduled a hearing for Monday, Oct. 21, to determine if the restraining order would continue.

Atatiana Jefferson was shot to death on Oct. 12 at around 2:30 a.m. Her neighbor called the non-emergency number for a welfare check because her doors were open. Police bodycam footage showed that when officers arrived, they walked to the back of the house. That's where they saw Atatiana Jefferson, in the rear window. The officer, later identified as Aaron Dean, approached the window with his gun drawn. When he saw Atatiana Jefferson in the window, he shouted, "Put your hands up, show me your hands," but then fired one shot.

When police arrived at her home, Atatiana Jefferson was playing video games and baby-sitting her 8-year-old nephew. The boy told investigators he witnessed his aunt being shot to death as she approached the window that night.

"She took her handgun from her purse," the arrest affidavit reads. "(The nephew) said Jefferson raised her handgun, pointed toward the window."

At that point, she was shot and fell to the ground, the affidavit said.

Dean's partner, identified in the warrant as L Darch, told investigators that she didn't see Jefferson raise the gun before Dean discharged his weapon. "Officer Darch said that they went into the backyard and Officer Dean was standing between her and the house and she could only see Jefferson's face through the window when Officer Dean discharged his weapon one time," the arrest warrant affidavit reads.

The footage appears to confirm that Dean never identified himself as a police officer before opening fire. On Monday, Dean abruptly quit the police department shortly before he was going to be fired, according to Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus.
"Had the officer not resigned, I would have fired him for violations of several policies, including our use of force policy, our de-escalation policy, and unprofessional conduct," Kraus said at a press conference Monday.

Just hours after he resigned, Dean was arrested and charged with the murder of Atatiana Jefferson. Dean was then released on bond from Tarrant County Jail late Monday, according to court records.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


KATU(PORTLAND, Oregon) -- Stunning surveillance footage captured the moment a high school coach in Oregon disarmed a student with a shotgun and then held him in his arms.

Keanon Lowe, a football and track and field coach at Parkrose High School, can be seen walking through the hallways and entering a classroom on May 17.

When he next emerges, he is holding a shotgun and backing away from student Angel Granados-Diaz before another teacher comes up and takes the weapon away.

Then, in an extraordinary moment, Lowe embraces Granados-Diaz and the two hug for at least a minute.

At one point, it appears that Granados-Diaz tries to break free, but Lowe continues to hold on to him.

Police eventually arrive and take Granados-Diaz into custody.

Lowe was hailed a hero following the incident at the Portland high school.

"This was a best-case scenario," Portland Police Sergeant Brad Yakots said at the time. "The staff members from all accounts did an excellent job."

Initial reports said that Lowe wrestled the student to the ground, but the video, which was released by Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office on Friday, shows the emotional moment the two shared.

Granados-Diaz, now 19, was suffering from a mental health crisis at the time, according to ABC Portland affiliate KATU. He pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm in a public building and one count of unlawful possession of a loaded firearm in public and was sentenced to three years of probation, KATU reported.

Lowe, a former Oregon Ducks football player, told the station that when the student entered the classroom with the weapon, he was close enough that he lunged for the gun and grabbed it with both hands.

"Then it was just me and that student. It was a real emotional time. It was emotional for him, it was emotional for me," he said back in May, according to KATU. "In that time, I felt compassion for him. A lot of times, especially when you’re young, you don’t realize what you’re doing until it’s over."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Indiana State Police(ROCHESTER, Indiana) -- A 24-year-old Indiana woman who struck four children with her pickup truck, killing three of them, as they crossed a rural highway to their school bus, has been found guilty of reckless homicide.

Alyssa Shepherd was also found guilty of criminal recklessness in the Oct. 30, 2018, crash, which shined a light on issues of school bus safety.

Shepherd testified Friday that she saw blinking lights but failed to see a school bus or a red stop sign arm when she plowed into 6-year-old twin brothers Xzavier and Mason Ingle, and their 9-year-old sister, Alivia Stahl, as they crossed the highway to board the bus from the mobile home park where they lived, near Rochester, Indiana. All three children died, while Maverik Lowe, 11, was injured in critical condition.

Lowe, who entered the courtroom Wednesday using a walker, testified that he saw the headlights of an approaching vehicle as he crossed the road toward the bus. He recalled having only a couple of second to decide what to do.

"I decided to go forward," he said, at which point he was struck. He remembered struggling to breath as he lay in a ditch before rescuers had him airlifted him to a hospital, where he spend 30 days and ultimately underwent 21 surgeries.

Shepherd, in her testimony, said she dropped her husband at work and was on her way to drop her kids at school and welcome a new youth pastor to church when she came upon a large vehicle, according to South Bend, Indiana, ABC affiliate WBND.

"I saw a vehicle, it was a very large vehicle. I couldn't tell what it was," Shepherd told the court, saying that she assumed it was an oversized-load modular home.

“When I saw children I instantly knew it was a bus," Shepherd said. She testified that doesn't remember how she moved the steering wheel but said she did brake.

Her husband testified that Shepherd called him shortly after the accident.

"She was very hysterical. I couldn’t quite make out what was going on. I assumed she was in an accident," he said.

The parents of the three children who were killed, Shane Ingle and Brittany Stahl, told ABC News following the accident that their loss was "more than what we can even express in words."

"A parent never expects to bury their child," the couple said in a statement. "Every night we go to sleep without their hugs and kisses. And every morning we wake up to reality and wishing it was just a dream. We miss them so much. Our lives are forever changed."

Shepherd, who will be sentenced on Dec. 18, now faces up to 21 1/2 years in prison.

The crash led the Indiana legislature to increase statewide penalties for drivers who pass stopped school buses illegally.

Shortly after the accident, the supervisor of the local school district announced that the bus stop where the crash occurred would be relocated into the mobile home park where the victims lived.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


eyecrave/iStock(LAGUNA BEACH, Calif.) -- There a number of ways to prevent wildfires, but for the city of Laguna Beach, California, fire officials used a unique method, in fact,1,000 of them.

As of Friday, more than 1,000 goats were chewing their way through dry weeds and grass, vegetation that Laguna Beach’s Fire Marshall, James Brown is calling “fuel” for fire. Best suited for the geography and topography of the city due to their ability to maneuver steep and rocky slopes, goats and herders from Peru have cleared 80% of this year’s 250-acre goal.

Laguna Beach’s goat program began in 1992, a year after the city of Oakland tested its own goat program in response to the Oakland-Berkley fire of 1991. Brown told ABC News that with 250 goats, the Laguna Beach fire officials moved forward with the program after it proved extremely effective during the fire season.

This is largest group of goats they’ve had in the history of the program. Officials even added a third herd to cover more acres, Brown told ABC News.

“The Laguna Beach residents appreciate what the goats do to protect their community, and are very supportive of our program," Brown said. "They have also been very supportive of the herders who tend to the goats, and welcome the herders each year when they come through the neighborhood.”

This year, Laguna Beach experienced a wet season prompting a super bloom. Brown says while a super bloom may seem great, the vast growth becomes fuel for a fire when it dries out.

 This is where the goats come in.

The goats are just one of five prongs of fire-prevention methods used by the city. Other prongs include hands crew, weed abatement, complaint-based removal and enforcing building development requirements for fire safety landscaping.

“The City of Laguna Beach has been using goats for fuel modification for over 25 years, and they have proven very effective at reducing the dead vegetation fuel load and helping to protect our City," Brown said. "They have also been very cost-effective, and typically are 10% or less per acre of what a hand crew charges.”

Brown says he looks forward to expanding the department’s fuel modification program over the next 10 years with the goal to cover the entire perimeter of Laguna Beach.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico strengthened to Tropical Storm Nestor Friday afternoon as it takes aim at the Florida Panhandle.

Nestor is moving quickly and is set to make landfall along the Florida Panhandle near Panama City on Saturday morning, bringing tropical storm-force winds and dangerous storm surge.

Tropical storm warnings are in effect from southeastern Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle.

Bands of rain will move in Friday night, and by Saturday morning, Floridians will see heavy rainfall and strong, gusty winds.

In the impact zone is Mexico Beach, Florida, which was devastated by Category 5 Hurricane Michael last year.

Mexico Beach resident Gail Evans lost her three-bedroom home from Michael and has been living in her RV for over a year -- and now she's worried about Nestor.

"I hope that it's not that bad," she told ABC News Friday. "I'm hoping there's not a lot of wind to lift anything ... everything depends on if it strengthens coming in, which is what Michael did."

If the wind is significant, Evans said, "I'll have to leave."

The biggest threat with this storm will be storm surge, as ocean water could rise up to 5 feet from Apalachicola to Cedar Key, Florida. Water could also rise up to 4 feet as far south as Clearwater.

Storm surge warnings have been issued from Apalachicola to Clearwater.

"Residents should prepare now for the chance of flooding & power disruption," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted Thursday.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards added, "Until we know the exact track of the storm & the potential impact areas, it is important for everyone to stay informed & prepare now. Hopefully, most of the severe weather will remain south of Louisiana, but we must stand ready in case the conditions change."

Up to 6 inches of rain is possible in the Florida Panhandle.

Winds aren't forecast to be too strong, with gusts near 50 mph possible.

Because the storm is moving quickly, conditions will improve along the Florida Panhandle mid-day Saturday.

Saturday evening, what's left of Nestor move through Georgia and the Carolinas, bringing about 2 to 4 inches of rain.

By Sunday morning, Nestor's remnants will sweep across eastern North Carolina, then move off the mid-Atlantic coast and out to sea.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Ryan Burnias(UNALASKA, Alaska) -- A passenger has died after a twin-engine Alaska Airlines flight crashed Thursday night, officials said.

Alaska Airlines Flight 3296, operated by Peninsula Airways, ran off the runway while landing at Alaska's Unalaska/Dutch Harbor Airport, airline officials said, and stopped just short of plunging into the waters of the bay.

Passenger David Allan Oltman, 38, of Washington state, died as a result, Alaska State Troopers said on Friday.

This is the first U.S. commercial plane passenger death since a passenger died in a Southwest incident last year.

A statement from Peninsula Airways on Friday said: "It is with our deepest sorrow that we have confirmed that one of our critically injured passengers from PenAir Flight 3296 passed away last night. "

"Our entire team is devastated by this tragic incident," the statement said. "The thoughts of all 1,300 of our employees are with those who were hurt or affected."

Another passenger was critically injured, and 10 others received medical care, according to Peninsula Airways.

The flight was from Anchorage to Unalaska Island.

The plane, a Saab 2000 turboprop, had three crew members and 39 passengers aboard, including members of the swim team at Alaska's Cordova High School.

"At present, all students and chaperones are accounted for and are OK, albeit a bit shaken up," read a statement posted by superintendent Alex Russin on the school district's website Thursday night.

The statement said that "the team was together, seemed fine, and were eating pizza."

Photos taken afterward showed the plane resting at about at 30-degree angle on a rocky embankment, with its nose just feet from the water.

Unalaska Island is part of the Aleutian Island chain to the west of the Alaskan mainland.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


baona/iStock(NEW ORLEANS) -- Demolition experts will use small explosives to bring down the two cranes still standing at the site of the partially collapsed Hard Rock Hotel collapse in New Orleans, authorities said.

The controlled demolition is expected to happen around noon Saturday, New Orleans Fire Department chief Timothy McConnell said at a press conference Friday.

The cranes have been a source of major concern, he said. Both have continuously swayed since the under-construction building's collapse on Oct. 12, which left three dead and dozens injured.

"They are not designed to do that," McConnell said at a press conference Thursday.

Workers will use small explosives, known as energetic materials, to bring the cranes down. The goal is that they will come down in the same place as they are standing.

"Think of it like melting," McConnell said.

There is a "very, very high probability" that the cranes will come down as planned, according to McConnell, but there is always a risk.

"Something like this is not a science. It's not something you can practice," he said.

Authorities said if the cranes can come down earlier, they will but the approaching tropical storm and high winds are preventing them from moving as quickly as they'd like.

The controlled demolition was expected to happen Friday, but authorities said the plan was pushed back to Saturday.

Authorities are not only working through the dangers of the building, but also hoping to recover two bodies that are still inside.

One man was confirmed dead, while the other has not been located yet but is presumed dead, according to the mayor's office.

Officials have not yet said what caused the collapse. Ten of the victims injured filed a lawsuit Friday against five companies involved in the construction, citing negligence.

Surrounding buildings have been evacuated ahead of the demolition.

Authorities will divert their attention to the rest of the building once the cranes are successfully brought down.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Alabama Law Enforcement Agency(BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) -- Police on Friday released surveillance video from the night a 3-year-old Alabama girl was abducted in hopes that the public can identify a man who might help with the case.

The grainy footage shows two small children, including who's believed to be missing 3-year-old Kamille "Cupcake" McKinney, playing near a Birmingham housing area Saturday night.

"There are two males that appear in the video where the two children are playing," Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said at a news conference on Friday. "The first male will walk completely by. He looks at them. And it's the second male that comes up and engages the children."

That second man is a suspect, said Smith, adding that investigators believe they know who that man is.

Police are looking to identify and speak with the first male in the video.

"The first man who walked by in the video, he may have pertinent information that will help us," Smith said. "This is the male we're looking for ... we want to talk to him ... if he saw something that night that may be critical to the investigation."

The video was recovered from a surveillance camera within the Tom Brown Housing complex at about the same time as Kamille Mckinney was reported missing. If you are one of the people in the video, we need your help with the investigation! Please call at 205-254-7777.

— Birmingham Police (@BhamPolice) October 18, 2019

Within minutes of the video being taken, authorities received a report that Kamille was missing, police said.

The week has brought an "exhaustive search" for Kamille, who was playing with other children at an outdoor birthday party in Birmingham on Saturday when she vanished, Smith said.

An Amber Alert was issued but the Birmingham police said earlier this week that there was no information on Kamille's whereabouts.

The planning of the kidnapping was likely 20 minutes, Smith said.

"I don't believe that a lot of planning went into it," he said.

Police do not have a motive, Smith said.

Please keep sharing her picture. 3-year-old Kamille McKinney is still missing. You can stay anonymous and report tips - to 205-254-7777 @abc3340 #liveon3340

— Sarah Snyder (@sarah3340) October 16, 2019

The chief on Friday also asked volunteers to come forward to help with a grid search on Sunday. The search will be in one area investigators found was frequented by a person of interest, Smith said.

"In my heart I believe she is in and around the area and we're hoping to bring her home safely," Smith said.

Kamille McKinney, age 3, was last seen around 8:30 p.m. on Oct 12, 2019, in the Tom Brown Village Housing Community of Birmingham, AL. She wore a pink t-shirt, leopard print shorts, no shoes, and yellow, white, & blue hair bows. Help the #FBI find her:

— FBI Most Wanted (@FBIMostWanted) October 14, 2019

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nicolas_/iStock(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) -- A man accused of killing a young woman and saving videos of the crime to a memory card has now been charged in a second slaying, authorities said.

Brian Smith was initially arrested on Oct. 8 for the September 2019 murder of 30-year-old Kathleen Henry. During that investigation, detectives determined Smith was also responsible for the death of 52-year-old Veronica Abouchuk, Anchorage police said on Thursday.

"After he committed each murder, he dumped the body along the side of a road like unwanted trash," prosecutors said in a bail request document.

Abouchuk, who was last seen by her relatives in July 2018, was reported missing by family in February 2019, police said.

In April, human remains were found near an Anchorage highway, and on Oct. 11, days after Smith's arrest, the remains were identified as Abouchuk, police said.

When Smith was interviewed for the Henry case, he confessed to shooting a woman between 2017 and 2018, and he provided the location of her body, court documents said.

A skull with a gunshot wound -- later identified as belonging to Abouchuk -- was recovered near the location Smith identified, the documents said.

Smith's attorney declined to comment to ABC News on Friday on the Abouchuk case.

Smith was taken into custody on Oct. 8 for first-degree murder in connection with Henry's death. He pleaded not guilty and his attorney declined to comment to ABC News last week.

Police were led to Smith when a woman found an SD card labeled "Homicide at midtown Marriott" lying on the ground on Sept. 30, according to court documents.

The memory card contained disturbing videos from early September that showed a woman being beaten, raped and strangled, according to court documents.

Some of the footage showed a naked woman "moaning and struggling to breathe," and trying to fight back, documents said. In another video, the suspect is seen stomping on the woman's throat with his foot, documents said, and laughing as he strangles her.

Images also showed the victim, later identified as Henry, in the back of a truck, documents said.

Detectives found that Smith's phone pinged "to a location on Rainbow Valley Road along the Seward Highway within minutes of the last still image from the SD card of the female in the back of the black truck," according to court documents. Henry's remains were found on Oct. 2. near Seward Highway, police said.

Smith had a room registered at the same hotel during that time period and has a car matching the truck seen on the footage, court documents said. His accent also matched the voice heard in the video, court documents said.

A grand jury on Thursday returned a supplemental indictment on charges including murder in connection with Abouchuk's death, officials said. Smith is expected to be arraigned on Oct. 21 on the second indictment. His attorney did not immediately respond to ABC News' request for comment on Friday.

At Thursday's news conference, police would not say if Smith could be connected to more victims.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


Family of Jose Segovia Benitez(NEW YORK) -- A veteran who served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and two tours in Iraq is facing imminent deportation to El Salvador -- a country he left when he was 3 years old -- over felony convictions despite being a legal permanent resident.

While his lawyer and advocates say they are not trying to excuse his behavior -- which includes corporal injury to a spouse, for which he served 8 years in prison -- they claim that the injuries Jose Segovia-Benitez sustained while serving in the military, and the failure of Veterans Affairs doctors to properly diagnose him with PTSD for years, helped contribute to his predicament.

According to a government watchdog report, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) placed 250 veterans in removal proceedings from 2013-2018. But the number may be higher because "ICE does not maintain complete electronic data on veterans who have been placed in removal proceedings or removed," according to the agency, despite the fact that agency is supposed to take additional steps when it encounters a deportable veteran.

Segovia-Benitez, 38, had been held at the at the ICE processing center in Adelanto, California since January 2018, when he was detained by the agency after being released from prison, his representatives told ABC News. He left the facility on Tuesday to start the process of his deportation, but he was unexpectedly pulled off a departing flight in Arizona Wednesday and has been at an ICE facility there ever since, Brandee Dudzic, executive director of Repatriate our Patriots, a non-profit organization that advocates for U.S. veterans who are deported, told ABC News.

It is unclear why his deportation to El Salvador was interrupted, Dudzic said. ICE did not immediately confirm those details to ABC News.

Segovia-Benitez arrived in the U.S. with his parents when he was 3 years old and settled down in Long Beach, California, Dudzic said. He enlisted in the Marines in 1999, a week after graduating high school, after years of wanting to serve his country.

"There's photos of him at high school and track practice with dog tags around his neck," Dudzic said. "This was something he wanted to do for a long time."

In 2002, Segovia-Benitez was promoted to corporal and he deployed to Iraq in April 2003, at the start of the Iraq War, Dudzic said. Segovia-Benitez then re-enlisted in July 2003 after his four-year contract ended and returned to Iraq later that year, advocates said.

Segovia-Benitez suffered a traumatic brain injury in December 2003 after an explosion occurred near his vehicle, his immigration attorney, Wayne Spindler, told ABC News. He returned to the U.S. in July 2004 and was honorably discharged in September of that year, his representatives said.

However, his PTSD was not diagnosed until 2011. As a result, he was given a 70 percent disability rating, which qualified him for a range of services that he would not have been able to receive without that designation, Dudzic said.

A spokeswoman for the Marine Corps confirmed the details of Segovia-Benitez's rank and his dates of service. But the information in Segovia-Benitez's file did not include his re-enlistment, which included his second tour in Iraq, or that he was honorably discharged, the spokeswoman said.

His military awards included the Combat Action Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, three Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, according to his Marine Corps file.

Trouble with the law

Segovia-Benitez's convictions include DUI, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, narcotics possession and corporal injury to a spouse in 2010, for which he received an 8-year sentence -- his lengthiest term in prison, ICE spokeswoman Lori Haley told ABC News. The details of those cases were not immediately available. Segovia-Benitez served time for all of the convictions concurrently, Spindler said.

A judge ordered Segovia-Benitez to be removed to El Salvador in October 2018. According to an ICE official, his "extensive criminal history," which includes "an aggravated felony," allows for him to be removed, despite his military service and length of time he resided in the U.S., under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

According to his lawyer, Segovia-Benitez committed all of the crimes he was convicted of before his PTSD diagnosis. Even before he was diagnosed, Segovia-Benitez knew he was "not OK" and was seeking one-on-one treatment and attending support groups on his own, Dudzic said. She alleged that the VA mismanaged his case, which led him to self-medicate as a means of coping. A representative for the VA referred ABC News to the Department of Homeland Security when asked for comment, which did not immediately respond.

Dudzic said Segovia-Benitez's representatives aren't trying to "excuse his behavior" but rather provide context to the his underlying medical condition that may have contributed to the crimes.

According to the VA, there is a link between PTSD and "an increased risk of violence."

But the agency cautions that when other factors are controlled, the risk of violence with PTSD as a factor alone decreases. "When other factors like alcohol and drug misuse, additional psychiatric disorders, or younger age are considered, the association between PTSD and violence is decreased," the VA says.

The process of deporting veterans who have committed felonies is "common practice," Spindler said.

According to a report from the American Civil Liberties Union, "Congress in the span of less than a decade vastly expanded the grounds for deportation and whittled away the available avenues for relief."

Under the 1988 Anti-Drug Abuse Act, any non-citizen who completed their prison sentence for an aggravated felony was subject to detainer by immigration authorities. Over the years, the definition of "aggravated felony" expanded from murder and weapons trafficking to "crimes of violence, racketeering, theft or burglary for which the term of imprisonment was five years or more, money laundering, trafficking of any federally controlled substance, additional weapons offenses, prostitution related offenses, tax evasion, and certain categories of fraud," the ACLU wrote.

And in 1996, "Congress eliminated all forms of discretionary relief for people with convictions falling within the expanded aggravated felony definition," the ACLU said.

For the report, the ACLU interviewed 59 veterans, many of whom were deported because of "aggravated felony" convictions. A number of those crimes would not have been considered aggravated felonies before changes in the 1990s, including theft with sentence of a year or more, the report said.

Segovia-Benitez first started the process to apply for citizenship in 2002, while he was still enlisted, and was finger-printed for the purposes of naturalization in 2004, Dudzic said. However, when he missed an interview appointment, his application was administratively closed, and requests to reschedule his interview and hold it at the Adelanto facility have been denied, Dudzic said. DHS did not immediately respond to ABC News request for comment.

Segovia-Benitez's case is before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Spindler said, adding that he could very well be in El Salvador when the decision is made. The details of the appeal were not immediately available as the documents are under seal.

In addition to the appeals process, Segovia-Benitez's representatives have filed a pardon application with California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Spindler said. Segovia-Benitez is also one of 19 plaintiffs suing ICE over "extreme medical neglect" they have allegedly received at the Adelanto facility, Dudzic said.

The suit alleges that immigrants in ICE custody are "subjected to horrific, inhumane, punitive, and unlawful conditions of confinement" and specifically that Segovia-Benitez was not given proper care for cardiac issues. It also alleged that his combat PTSD had become "unmanageable" since being detained by ICE.

"Jose, as a disabled combat veteran, has the right to be treated by the VA and credentialed VA doctors," Dudzic said. "Whomever they're bringing in has no idea how to treat a combat veteran."

Vicky Waters, a spokesperson for the California governor's office, said she was unable to discuss individual pending applications for pardons but "can assure that each application receives careful and individualized consideration." Haley said she was unable to comment on the pending litigation against ICE.

'They'll execute you'

Dudzic emphasized that she and Segovia-Benitez's family believes his case is more of a veterans' issue -- and the failure of the government to properly care for him after his service -- rather than an immigration issue.

"Deporting veterans is the most unpatriotic thing I have ever heard of," she said.

Her organization has taken such an interest in Segovia-Benitez's case because of the potential danger that awaits him in El Salvador, Dudzic said. Due to his military training, Segovia-Benitez is a "very high-valued target for the gangs."

"You either join the gang, or they'll execute you," she said.

Dudzic also worries about his tattoos -- which include the letters "USMC" on one of his biceps and a "very large" Statue of Liberty on his rib cage -- and the message they will send.

"In countries like El Salvador, your tattoos are very much affiliated with what gang you are with," she said. "They don't take kindly to United States Marines."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


maroke/iStock(CHICAGO) -- Chicago Public School teachers took to the streets for the second day of their strike on Friday.

Negotiations between teachers and the city's school district are still underway, and while there appeared to be some progress, the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) said they're not close to reaching a deal.

"They're talking about class size. [Chicago Public Schools] is offering some discussion and that's a first," Chris Geovanis, spokeswoman for CTU, told ABC News Friday. "It's very inadequate but it's a start."

Teachers are fighting for smaller class sizes, more staffing and better wages. More than 25,000 thousands teachers hit the picket lines on Thursday after months of failed negotiation attempts.

Classes in the nation's third largest school district were canceled Thursday and Friday due to the strike.

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) submitted a written proposal on reducing class size after all-day negotiations Thursday, according to ABC Chicago station WLS-TV. The details of the proposal were not immediately clear and CPS did not respond to ABC News' request for comment.

More than 1,300 classrooms are overcrowded, according to CTU, despite the district's cap. Almost 25% of elementary school students were placed in overcrowded classrooms, with some kindergarten classrooms topping 40 students, according to the union.

The union said despite "some progress," some issues have not been discussed. Others issues, such as staffing shortages, have been discussed but not put "in writing in an enforceable contract," according to CTU.

Teachers are asking for ELL (English-language leaner) educators and more bilingual social workers.

"Bilingual education services are chronically short of both educators and resources," the union said in a statement.

More than 300,000 students were enrolled in the city's public school system in the 2018-2019 school year. Almost half are Latino, according to CTU.

Teachers are also pushing for more school nurses, as most schools have only one nurse one day a week.

CPS said their written offer would provide a nurse in every school by 2024 and double the social workers in schools.

"Teachers and staff are invaluable to our schools, and our offers recognize that," according to a statement from Mayor Lori Lightfoot, CEO of CPS Janice Jackson and Chief Education Officer of CPS LaTanya McDade. "Although we wish we could offer more to our teachers and support staff for their hard work and dedication, we believe our offers are fair deals that meet the needs of teachers, paraprofessionals and students, and keep the district on a path of success."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


eyfoto/iStock(FORT WORTH, Texas) -- Sacramento Kings star Harrison Barnes and Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Malik Jackson joined forces this week to help supply funeral services for Atatiana Jefferson, a black woman who was fatally shot by a white police officer in her Texas home last week.

Jefferson, 28, was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew late Saturday night when she was fatally shot by a Fort Worth police officer who was conducting a wellness check.

The officer, 34-year-old Aaron Dean, did not identify himself as an officer before he fired into the woman's bedroom window, sparking national outrage and claims of excessive policing.

Dean resigned and was charged Monday with murder. He has since been released on $200,000 bond.

Barnes said he hadn't spoken with Jefferson's family since the "tragic situation," but he felt like he had to do something to help.

"My wife and I wanted to do something for that family," Barnes told reporters Thursday. "No one should be killed during a wellness check. But the biggest thing is anytime someone has to go through that, the last thing you want to have to worry about is trying to come up with the money for a funeral."

"It was unfortunate. It should never have happened. You think of wellness check not being something that's going to be fatal. So you want justice for the family. But at the same time, your heart goes out to the family that has to deal with that," he added.

Jefferson's family's attorney Lee Merritt told Dallas ABC affiliate WFAA-TV that Barnes paid half the service costs and Jackson paid the remainder.

Bishop T.D. Jakes is scheduled to deliver the eulogy and the Rev. Al Sharpton is expected to offer special remarks at the funeral service, which will be open to the public.

Jefferson's viewing with be held on Friday at 7 p.m. and the funeral is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Both services will be held at The Potter's House in Dallas.

Police said Jefferson, who had a license to carry, reached for her gun when she heard noises in her backyard and went to the window to investigate. Body camera footage released by the police department shows Dean approaching a rear window of the home with his gun drawn. The officer sees the woman through the window, shouts, "Put your hands up, show me your hands," and fires one shot.

"I realize that no action we take can replace the loss suffered here. I'm deeply sorry for what occurred," Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus said during a news conference earlier this week.

"Human life is a precious thing, and should not have been taken from Ms. Jefferson," Kraus said. "This incident has eroded the trust that we have built with our community and we must now work even harder to ensure that trust is restored."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


lzf/iStock(SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.) -- A California police officer was placed on administrative leave this week after video appeared to show him threatening a group of teen skaters at gunpoint, authorities said Thursday.

Cellphone footage showed the off-duty Orange County Sheriff's Department deputy pointing a handgun while visiting a skate park in San Clemente after a teen raised his skateboard at him.

Witnesses said the confrontation began on Saturday night when the plain-clothes officer approached the teens and ordered them stop playing loud music.

Things escalated when the officer appeared to grab the teen's hand. The teen is seen pulling his hand away and begins to back away while raising his skateboard.

That's when the man pulled a small handgun out of his pocket, prompting the teen to drop his skateboard and retreat with his hands in the air.

One of the teen's parents told ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV that the man did not immediately identify himself as a law enforcement officer. The man did appear to pull out a badge later on, although it was partially obscured by his fingers.

"My friend didn't know he was a cop. He was coming up to a friend very fast and aggressive, so my other friend jumped in and put his hand out for him to stop … the guy grabbed his hand aggressively," a witness told CBSLA in an on-camera interview Wednesday. "My other friend held up his skateboard for him to stop, then the guy pulled a gun and said 'I'll shoot you in the f---ing face if you don't stop.'"

The Orange County Sheriff's Department did not release the officer's identity, but it confirmed he was placed administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

"Orange County Sheriff's Department employees are expected to conduct themselves with professionalism on and off-duty," the department said in a statement. "We take this incident seriously and will fully investigate. The investigation will be turned over to the Orange County District Attorney's Office at its conclusion."

Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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