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Ivan Kmit/iStock/ThinkStock(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) -- A 911 call dispatcher at the Albuquerque Fire Department has resigned after audio was released from a recent emergency call in which he told a teen, who called to report her friend had been shot, to "deal with it yourself" before abruptly hanging up.

This past June 26, Esperanza Quintero, 17, made a 911 call after her friend Jaydon Chavez-Silver, also 17, was shot in a drive-by shooting at a house party, the Albuquerque Police Department told ABC News Wednesday.

Matthew Sanchez, the dispatcher who answered the call, can be heard repeatedly asking if the victim is breathing in audio obtained by ABC News.

Quintero, who can be heard in the audio soothing her friend and telling him to "stay with me" in the call, said she got "frustrated" after Sanchez kept asking the same questions "over and over and over again," ABC News affiliate KOAT-TV reported.

After asking if her friend was breathing again, Quintero replies, "He's barely breathing. How many times do I have to f****** tell you?"

"OK, you know what ma'am? You could deal with it yourself," Sanchez responds. "I'm not going to deal with this, OK?

"No, my friend is dying," Quintero responds before the dispatcher seems to hang up and the audio cuts off.

Melissa Romero, a spokeswoman for the fire department told ABC News today that "the dispatcher did dispatch units prior to disconnect" and that the "response time was four minutes and 26 seconds, which exceeds national standards."

Chavez-Silver was taken to a hospital, where he later succumbed to his wounds and died, police public information officer Tanner Tixier told ABC News today. A homicide investigation is ongoing, and though no suspects have been arrested in connection with the drive-by shooting, police are following up on numerous leads, he added.


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lofilolo/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) -- Walter Palmer, the American dentist who admitted to killing Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, recently sent out a letter to the patients of River Bluff Dental, his Bloomington, Minnesota, dental practice that remained closed with the shades down as of Wednesday afternoon.

Palmer's letter to his patients sent via email Tuesday night began by explaining his hobby of hunting, which he referred to as "one of my passions outside dentistry."

"To my valued patients: As you may have already heard, I have been in the news over the last few days for reasons that have nothing to do with my profession or the care I provide for you," he wrote. "I've been a life-long hunter since I was a child growing up in North Dakota. I don't often talk about hunting with my patients because it can be a divisive and emotionally charged topic. I understand and respect that not everyone shares the same views on hunting."

Palmer then explained his involvement in the killing of Cecil the lion, almost exactly worded like the statement he released Tuesday. He explained he was in Zimbabwe during early July on a bow hunting trip for big game and that he "hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits."

He continued, "To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted. I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt. I have not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or in the U.S. about this situation, but will assist them in any inquiries they may have."

"Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion," he added. "That was never my intention."

A small, growing memorial to Cecil remained outside Palmer's dental office today including stuffed animals, a flower, and a sign that read, "You are a coward and a killer! :-("

Palmer also explained he was receiving a "substantial number of comments and calls from people who are angered by this situation and by the practice of hunting in general," that "disrupted our business and our ability to see our patients."

He apologized for the inconvenience, adding that "we will do our best to resume normal operations as soon as possible" and that they were working with patients with immediate needs to be referred to other dentists.


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mikdam/iStock/ThinkStock(NEW YORK) -- A Utah postal carrier says he recently had a "life-changing" encounter during a delivery route when he met a 12-year-old boy who was reading grocery store advertisements because he said he didn't have any real books to read.

"I was putting mail in the individual boxes for the apartment residents last Thursday when I heard this kid reading through a grocery ad reading things like 'Bananas, 66 cents,' that kind of thing," mailman Ron Lynch, who lives in Sandy, told ABC News. "He later came up and asked if I had any newspapers or junk mail or anything he could read."

Lynch said he told the kid, whose name he learned was Mathew Flores, that he didn't have any extra mail, but that he should try going to the library.

"He said he couldn't afford the bus to the library, so he just walked off, and I thought wait, I got to do something to help this kid out," Lynch said. "So I came over and talked to his mom, who mostly spoke Spanish, but Mathew helped translate. She gave me permission to use a photo of him, which I posted to Facebook along with a plea asking for book donations to his address."

To both Lynch's and Flores' surprise, the post went viral and had over 8,000 likes and over 10,000 shares as of Wednesday afternoon.

Flores told ABC News he's received "packages upon packages from all over the world" and now has over 500 books at his home.

A bookshelf in the kitchen that was formerly used as a makeshift pantry is now in Flores' bedroom, his mother Laura Rojas told ABC News Wednesday. She added she's so proud of her son and grateful for all the kindness of the donors.

"I only get to read during school, but since it's summer and since we don't have any books and our dad takes the car to work, and we can't afford a bus pass to the library," Flores said. But he's excited for his new collection -- including the entire "Harry Potter" series, which he said he's most excited to start reading.

Lynch, who is also a fellow bibliophile, said he's incredibly happy for Flores.

"Books take you places you've never been before," he said, "and I didn't want him to be in a grocery store. I wanted him to be in other worlds."

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Greenhills Police Department(CINCINNATI) — A police officer who killed a man in Cincinnati during a traffic stop will be charged with murder, the Hamilton County prosecutor said Wednesday, noting, "This was the purposeful killing of another person."

"I'm treating him like a murderer," prosecutor Joseph Deters said during a news conference when describing the warrant out for a police officer who killed Samuel DuBose, 43, earlier this month.

Footage released Wednesday from a police officer's body cam lasts about 10 minutes and shows the shooting.

“I have been doing this for 30 years," Deters said. "This is the most asinine act I have ever seen a police officer make.”

Deters said he was "shocked" when he saw the video and his heart broke for what the video would mean to the community.

"It's just bad. It's just bad what he did and it shouldn't have happened," Deters said.

The University of Cincinnati canceled classes Wednesday as the city braced for the release of video footage showing the shooting of DuBose.


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Footage from university police officer Ray Tensing's body cam was released along with the result of the grand jury's investigation. If convicted, Tensing could receive life in prison, Deters said. Deters said there's no evidence race was an issue in the killing, when asked by reporters.

"This guy didn’t deserve to be tased and he certainly didn’t deserve to be shot in the head," Deters said of DuBose.

DuBose was killed during a traffic stop on July 19 near the University of Cincinnati's campus, authorities said, noting that DuBose was stopped because his car did not have a license plate in the front.

The officer "wasn't dealing with someone who was wanted for murder," Deters said. "He was dealing with someone without a front license plate."

DuBose apparently refused to provide a driver's license, produced an open alcohol bottle and a struggle ensued, during which Tensing was knocked to the ground, UC Police Department chief Jason Goodrich said during a news conference last week.

Goodrich said the officer fired one shot into DuBose's head.

Deters called what sparked the shooting a "chicken-crap stop."

"I could have used harsher words," he said.

Tensing is on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure, Goodrich said last week.


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Dept of Justice(SPRINGFIELD, Mass.) — Boston Police commander Robert Ciccolo knew something was going terribly wrong with his son Alexander at least a decade before 23-year-old was arrested by the FBI this month on charges connected to an ISIS-inspired plan to “emulate the Boston Marathon bombers” and “set off a bomb at a college campus” -- allegations linked to charges to which he pleaded not guilty Wednesday.

In the spring of 2005, at age 13, Alexander Ciccolo was suspended and nearly expelled from a public school in Wareham after he was accused of striking another student and a teacher with drumsticks, according to probate records pertaining to his parents' divorce. Months later he was arrested by Wareham Police after he told a classmate “he was going to kill him,” and lunged at the student with a butterfly knife.

By then, Ciccolo had missed so many days of school the Wareham School Department filed what is known in Massachusetts as a CHINS — or Child In Need of Services — complaint to the Department of Social Services which opened an investigation into his mother, who had full custody.

The entire time his father, who was rising in the ranks of the Boston Police Department, desperately petitioned the court to let Alexander live with him, his new wife, and his stepchildren in Needham, an upscale Boston suburb, rather than with his ex-wife, Shelley Reardon, who refused, he claimed in court records, to have Alexander evaluated by mental health professionals.

“He [Robert] seeks this change because the child’s mother…who presently has primary physical custody of the child has in the past verbally agreed to allow the child to be evaluated but without exception has subsequently refused to allow such evaluations to proceed,” Ciccolo’s lawyer wrote in an emergency motion that petitioned a court to give him full custody of Alexander. “At present mother... has threatened legal action against father if initiates” psychological treatment.

The contentious divorce between Robert Ciccolo and Reardon, who split after 10 years of marriage when Alexander was five, are a glimpse into their only son’s long history of behavioral problems and mental illness that culminated with him coming “under the sway of ISIS,” as a young adult, prosecutors said at his first court appearance on July 14. He changed his name to Abu Ali al Amriki 18 months ago and opened a Facebook account where he posted a picture of a dead American soldier along with “Thank you Islamic State! Now we don’t have to deal with these kafir [non believer] back in America.”

Assistant United States Attorney Kevin O’Regan told a judge this month that Alexander Ciccolo adopted “in his young life an extremist form of Islam in which it called for acts of terror against people who didn’t believe as he did in this extremist form of Islam and, as a result of that, he developed a hatred for America.”

Ciccolo was arraigned Wednesday federal charges on assault and battery with a deadly weapon and felon in possession of a firearm charges connected to his July 4 arrest by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, one of nearly a dozen potential plots that FBI Director James Comey said were thwarted around Independence Day festivities and the Muslim Ramadan holiday.

The slightly-built defendant was escorted into court Wednesday wearing a tan prison jumpsuit, his hands cuffed to a chain around his waist and his ankles shackled. He wore black framed eyeglasses and a long beard on his chin. He smiled at his mother and stepfather, who sat behind the defendant’s table.

Ciccolo told the court he pleads not guilty to the charges contained in the indictment.

Also at the hearing, a federal judge ordered the government to hand over discovery to his attorney, which is not expected to be voluminous, prosecutors said. “It’s a pretty straightforward case,” O’Regan said Wednesday. Prosecutors have said Ciccolo planned to build a pressure cooker bomb filled with “nails and with ball bearings and broken glass” similar to the two that detonated at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April 2013, killing three people — including an 8-year-old boy -- and injuring 260 others.

Ironically, Ciccolo’s father was working in Kenmore Square commanding officers providing security for the Red Sox crowd when the first blast was detonated just over a mile away and saw the plumes of smoke rise from the marathon finish line, according to an alumni publication run by Curry College.

And like the marathon bombers, Alexander Ciccolo allegedly did not plan to pull off a single attack. Investigators said he was building 10 firebombs using Styrofoam soaked in motor oil because the concoction “would stick to the victims’ skin and make it harder to put out.” He also allegedly made plans to bomb a university cafeteria and bragged to a cooperating witness that he would execute students live on the Internet in ISIS-inspired barbarism.

“He dedicated himself to killing as many innocent people in the United States as he could,” O’Regan said at Ciccolo’s detention hearing, which came more a week after he purchased two powerful rifles and two handguns from a FBI cooperating witness on the Fourth of July. He slung the duffle bags full of guns over his shoulder and was arrested as he walked into his Adams apartment in the Berkshires.

That arrest spawned the execution of a search warrant, which led to the discovery of the firebombs, authorities said. The FBI cooperating witness wore a wire for the FBI, federal officials told ABC News, and many of his plans were captured in audio recordings.

Still, officials said, Ciccolo was unlikely to be able to pull off any attack.

He had been under constant surveillance since Sept. 11, 2014 when, several law enforcement officials said, he sent “alarming text messages” to his father, who had become a police captain in the Operations Division of the Boston Police. In one text message he told his father that America is “Satan.” Others stated that his Islamic faith “is under attack” and that he was “not afraid to die for the cause!”

The police captain contacted the FBI saying that his son had become “obsessed with Islam” 18 months earlier. Capt. Ciccolo has cooperated with investigators assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force since, senior BPD commanders told ABC News.

Reardon’s home in Ware, a rural part of the Berkshires, was also searched by the FBI after Alexander was arrested, her son’s attorney confirmed Wednesday.

The department has quietly lauded Ciccolo’s painful decision to turn in his own son and BPD spokesman Lt. Mike McCarthy told ABC News, “We continue to support Captain Ciccolo during this difficult time.”

That difficult time, according to court records, was an extensive one when it came to Alexander. Court records detail bitterness between his parents that went as far as to ask the family court to issue rulings over their son’s toys. When Alexander was 6, the court issued a restraining order to dictate the times each parent could pick him up at school “as to avoid a mother/father confrontation over custody.”

In 1998 the court granted Alexander’s mother custody and he spent a large swath of his childhood in Wareham, part of Cape Cod. That is until his childhood behavioral problems escalated into alleged violent attacks and arrests, the court record states.

In May 2006, after the knife incident, the court granted Robert Ciccolo emergency custody of Alexander and the teen moved to Needham with his father and stepmother Dale. A month later, on his 14th birthday, Alexander was hospitalized after “an outburst of violent property damage,” that led to a 911 call. During that hospitalization, a doctor suggested that Alexander visit his mother, who had limited contact with after moving in with his father seven months earlier.

According to court records, his father claimed that visit was a turning point for Alexander’s mental health. The elder Ciccolo filed an affidavit to limit his ex-wife’s role in Alexander’s life, pointing out that his mother returned BB guns that had been taken away from their son because of the weapons charges.

“She also bought him a new one with a laser pointer, telescopic sights and a flashlight attachment,” according to a court statement the Boston police commander gave to the court.

Reardon responded by saying her ex-husband “ruled with an iron fist” and his tactics led their son to threaten to run away. As far as the BB guns, she told the court, many of the boys in their town used them, writing in her own affidavit, “perhaps my former husband has lived near the city too long and has forgotten what many boys do for fun.”

She also accused her ex-husband of using his role as a police officer to manipulate the courts saying she was not notified about the emergency court hearing held on May 31, 2006 where she lost custody of her son. After she lost custody, she accused Alexander’s father of threatening to not allow her to see him if he “did not have good behavior.”

“This is hardly good parenting and would seem more draconian than needed in the circumstances,” Reardon’s attorney wrote.

Capt. Ciccolo was not in court Wednesday and his son’s attorney David J. Hoose refused comment when asked if Alexander had spoken with his father. Ciccolo did not attend the July 14th detention hearing for son but has been in contact with Hoose, the attorney said.

At that detention hearing prosecutors played a nine-minute video was played where the younger Ciccolo defended his beliefs to two FBI agents, telling them ISIS “will only kill people who fight them.”

His mother attended the detention that hearing and Wednesday’s arraignment. Wednesday she smiled and nodded at her son who turned to her as he was led out of the courtroom and said, “I love you mom. Thank you for supporting me.”

Hoose said that his client "has always been very close to his mother," and remains so Wednesday. He declined to comment on his client's mental health and whether that would play a role in his defense.

Prosecutors argued earlier this month that Ciccolo was unrepentant and should be held without bail. A federal judge agreed and Ciccolo was held again Wednesday without arguing for bail.

"So we have a defendant who came under the sway of ISIS, adopted a hatred for America, adopted the most vile beliefs, began to act on them, was arrested and continued,” O’Regan said at the detention hearing. “It wasn’t as if he said ‘oh, they got me, gee, maybe I made a mistake.' It was 'No, I’m here and this is what I believe.'"

After that interview Ciccolo was taken to a holding facility where a female nurse medically evaluated him. Prosecutors said that during the exam, Ciccolo picked up a pen and slammed it into the nurse’s head so hard “the pen actually broke in half.”

After his son’s arrest Cap. Ciccolo’s issued a release on behalf of his family saying, “While we were saddened and disappointed to learn of our son’s intentions, we are grateful that authorities were able to prevent any loss of life or harm to others.”

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U.S. Coast Guard press release(TYBEE ISLAND, Ga.) — The U.S. Coast guard released new video Wednesday of a "first-light" search near Tybee Island, Georgia, from a C-130 aircraft over an region where it investigated the sighting of a cooler originally thought to be from the boat of two Florida teens who have been lost as sea for nearly six days now.

The cooler was later found not to be related to the search for Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, both 14, who were reported missing after not coming back from a fishing trip last Friday afternoon, the Coast Guard said. The teens' boat was found capsized, damaged and abandoned Sunday off the Ponce de Leon Inlet in central Florida, authorities said.

"What makes the search difficult is the amount of space that we have to cover," Coast Guard Lt. Tommy Myers told ABC News Wednesday. Myers was on the aircraft on the search at dawn Wednesday, travelling around 200 miles an hour searching for the tiniest of objects.

The search for the boys was ongoing, the Coast Guarded tweeted Wednesday. Officials said they had searched nearly 31,000 square miles as of Tuesday evening in the approximately 500-mile stretch from Jupiter, Florida, to Charleston, South Carolina.

"We continue to search for the missing boys,” said Capt. Mark Fedor, chief of response for the Coast Guard 7th district in a statement. "We’re constantly re-evaluating the situation to determine our next course of action, however as each hour goes by, the situation becomes dire."

The teens could likely survive about four or five days in the water in current conditions, Coast Guard Captain Mark Fedor told ABC News on Tuesday. Authorities said they were hoping the boys were clinging to a cooler or life jackets that were apparently on board.

"I truly believe in my heart that they're okay, Stephanos' mother Carly Back told ABC News. "They're both extremely strong, strong, young men."

Football Hall of Famer Joe Namath, a neighbor of the families who's known the boys for years, said Sunday he's confident that the boys "know what they're doing" at sea.

“Austin’s been sharp and on the water a good while," Namath said. "Perry is just as sharp as can be."

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iStock/Thinkstock(LACKAWANNA, N.Y.) —  A western New York man has been arrested on charges of supporting ISIS, officials said.

A member of the Muslim community in Lackawanna, near Buffalo, New York, tipped the FBI to Arafat Nagi.

“A member of the community expressed concern that Nagi could, in fact, commit violence either in the United States or abroad,” an official said Wednesday.

U.S. Attorney William Hochul charged Nagi with supporting the Islamic State, and said he traveled to Turkey to make contact with ISIS militants in Syria and to Yemen where Nagi blamed rebel killings on the United States.

Before one trip, court records said that Nagi bought “military combat items,” including body armor, night vision goggles and a machete.


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Patrick McPartland/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — The sun is shining, swimming pools are open and there’s still a giant snow pile in New York.

The calendar says it’s almost August, but an estimated 12-feet-tall snow pile still lingers in Buffalo, New York from a snow storm eight months ago.

“The original problem started back in November,” New York state climatologist Mark Wysocki told ABC News Wednesday. “The city had no place to put the snow, so they found a vacant lot and starting bringing in dump trucks full of snow. When they used bulldozers to flatten it out, it just compacted the pile.”

Wysocki said the dirt on top of the pile is insulating the snow from melting.

“It’s like an Oreo. The soil on top is warm and [the snow] is sitting on the warm ground and it just takes time,” he said.

The area around the pile is marshy and filled with dirty water from what snow has melted over the past eight months.

The pile — which now has grass growing on top — could last until the first snowfall or it could be gone by the end of August, but until then, Wysocki thinks Buffalo has a great tourist attraction.

Boston announced its last snow pile melted on July 14.


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File photo. (iStock/Thinkstock)(PASADENA, Calif.) -- A huge tree fell and hit children near a museum in California on Tuesday, injuring eight children, two of them critically.

The tree toppled over around 5 p.m. near the Kidspace Children's Museum in Pasadena, hitting children who were waiting to be picked up by their parents from summer day camp.

"I heard a tree crack, and then I turned around and I saw little kids running, then I saw the tree fall on top of the little kids," Greg Prodigalidad told ABC News station KABC-TV in Los Angeles. "I ran over there with a bunch of parents and we just started going through the tree and the bushes and we started pulling them out."

Fire officials said two children were transported with critical injuries. The other six suffered minor injuries.

It's unclear what caused the tree to fall. An investigation is underway.

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Chattanooga Police(CHATTANOOGA, Tenn.) -- Newly released video shows the Chattanooga gunman being arrested for driving under the influence earlier this year, an incident his family believes may have led to him opening fire at two military offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee, killing five service members.

The video shows Mohammod Abdulazeez being stopped after 2 a.m. on April 20 by police for "driving over 10 mph under the speed limit, and stopping at green lights." During the stop, an officer says he noticed that Abdulazeez's car smelled like alcohol and marijuana odor, and that his eyes were bloodshot and he was unsteady with slurred speech, according to the arrest report.

The video also shows Abdulazeez taking a field sobriety test. After walking the line, an officer notes that Abdulazeez "is counting steps that aren't happening."

An officer said he also noticed irritated nostrils and a white powdery substance under his nose, but Abdulazeez responded that he had "crushed caffeine pills and snorted them" and that he was around friends who were drinking and smoking marijuana.

Abdulazeez, 24, was charged with driving under the influence. He refused to consent to the state blood test, police said.

Earlier this month, Abdulazeez opened fire at the Navy Operational Support Center and the Marine Reserve Center in Chattanooga before he was killed by a police officer.

The FBI is considering Abdulazeez a "homegrown, violent, and extremist" who acted on his own, though the agency is investigating all possible leads and every relative and associate he has, including an uncle in Jordan, FBI Special Agent Edward Reinhold said last week.

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iStock/Thinkstock(RALEIGH, N.C.) -- The mother of a Raleigh, North Carolina, teenager killed in a car crash last year broke down while testifying in the trial against a couple accused of allowing her son and several other teens to drink before the crash.

Carrie Taylor testified Tuesday that she and her husband, a North Carolina state trooper, learned of their 18-year-old son Jonathan's death when they arrived at the crash site on June 28, 2014. He was killed when his car slammed into a tree.

"As a mother, I knew something horrible happened," she said. "My husband -- he's in law enforcement and when the road's closed, they weren't letting him through. I just -- I knew."

Jonathan was leaving a wedding reception where teenagers were drinking underage, police said. The parents who hosted the reception, Dr. Charles Matthews and his wife Kim, are charged with four counts of aiding and abetting underage possession and consumption of alcohol.

Attorneys for the Matthews said the teenagers were drinking liquor they bought before the reception, noting that the couple never gave the teens permission to drink at the party. But prosecutors argued the teenagers -- including the Matthews' son Thomas, who pleaded guilty to underage purchase of alcohol in connection with the crash -- were drinking openly at the reception.

"Obviously, we were underage," testified Mary Anna Ergsh, one of the teenagers. "There was free alcohol. We were just trying to get as much as we could. No one was kind of limiting us."

Prosecutors dropped the charges filed against the clerk at the liquor store where the teenagers allegedly bought liquor before the reception.

Both Charles and Kim Matthews have pleaded not guilty. If found guilty, they face possible probation or a fine.

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Michael Lavin, Courtesy of Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation(WASHINGTON) -- A team of scientists on Tuesday revealed that a set of 400-year-old skeletons are believed to be early leaders from Jamestown, the place where the English settlement of North America took root, at the Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

“They were four of the first founders of English America,” said James Horn, president of Jamestown Rediscovery. “They endured years of starvation, Indian attacks, and disease.”

The four men -- Rev. Robert Hunt, Capt. Gabriel Archer, Sir Ferdinando Wainman and Capt. William West -- were prominent Englishmen in their 20s to 40s, according to scientists at the Jamestown Rediscovery.

Their bodies were exhumed in 2013 from a recently-discovered 1608 church in Jamestown, which was also the site of Pocahontas’ marriage to John Rolfe.

According to the Smithsonian, scientists used a number of tools to make the determination including chemical testing, 3D technology and genealogical research, cross-referencing that information with a list of colonists who died during that time.

Only about 30 percent of the skeletons remained, but scientists were able to determine their sex and approximate age at death.

"This information, paired with the style of coffins and associated artifacts found at the site, led the scientists to match this set of remains," the Smithsonian said.

Hunt, the first Anglican minister at Jamestown, was found “buried in a simple shroud with no coffin facing the people he served, his congregation.” He, along with Archer, arrived on the first expedition to Jamestown with Capt. John Smith. Testing determined Hunt died at age 34 in either late 1609 or early 1610.

Archer led early expeditions in Jamestown and was a fierce critic of Smith.

Wainman arrived at Jamestown with his first cousin, governor of Virginia Lord De La Warr. He died in 1610 at the age of 34.

West arrived in Jamestown with his relatives, Wainman and De La Warr. He was killed in 1610 “fighting against elite Indian warriors,” said Douglas Owsley, division head of Physical Anthropology at the Museum of Natural History.

But with one mystery solved, another remains.

The small silver box on top of Archer’s coffin is believed to be a Catholic relic. Although scientists are unable to open it, 3D X-ray images of the box reveal it contains bone fragments and an ampulla, a small container used for holy liquids.

Michael Lavin, senior conservator with Jamestown Rediscovery, said the box is significant because “artifacts associated with burial are extremely rare.” Archer’s parents were Catholic and scientists believe the box suggests that at least one of the colonists retained his Catholic faith, perhaps in secret.

The bone fragments found inside the box are “representative of bones of a saint,” Lavin explained. He said the Catholic tradition behind the box predates the Protestant split with the Catholic Church, leading Lavin to speculate whether the box is evidence of “a Catholic cell” at Jamestown or simply remains of an evolving religion.

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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Looks like your chances of getting into your dream school just got easier -- at least, if your dream college is George Washington University.

The Washington, D.C. private college is removing the SAT and ACT from most freshmen admission requirements, The Washington Post reports.

The reason speaks to the ongoing debate about the alleged cultural bias of standardized testing, which could cause some students from minority backgrounds to perform less well.

“We want outstanding students from all over the world and from all different backgrounds -- regardless of their standardized scores -- to recognize GW as a place where they can thrive,” said Dean of Admissions Karen Stroud Felton.

GWU is the largest of the more than 125 private colleges and universities with testing-optional admission policies, according to the National Center of Fair and Open Testing, or FairTest. Wesleyan University, American University and Wake Forest University are other major institutions included on the list.

Even so, test-optional admission policies aren't a major growing trend, according to ACT President Jon L. Erickson. The majority of schools still require the SAT or ACT scores for consideration, and millions of students still follow the traditional ritual of taking one, or both tests, usually multiple times, in hopes of college admittance.

“I have to question why having less information to make a decision is a good thing,” said Erickson. “To me, for a good decision, you want as much information as possible.”

Ironically, both tests were originally created to increase college access and remove entrance bias by basing student candidacy on merit, and not relationships. However, research shows there are correlations between test scores and economic circumstances -- a potential barrier George Washington University hopes to remove in order to increase diversity at the institution.

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Shelly Greer/Hemera/iStock/ThinkStock(AURORA, Colo.) -- Bob Holmes took the stand Tuesday in a desperate attempt to save the life of his son, who was convicted of killing 12 people and wounding 70 others in the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre.

James Holmes is potentially facing the death penalty after being convicted of 165 counts on July 16.
"Do you still love your son?" asked public defender Tamara Brady. "Yes. He was an excellent kid. He's my son," Bob Holmes said quietly.

Bob Holmes testified that the trial has been very difficult for him. He and his wife, Arlene, have sat directly behind their son in support of him enduring weeks of gut-wrenching testimony from the victims of families he killed and wounded.

Bob Holmes told the court that he wasn't aware that his son was mentally ill and also did not know that he was having homicidal thoughts.

At the urging of defense attorneys, the killer's father described a bucolic California childhood as pictures and videos of the gunman were shown to the jury on three flat screens in the courtroom. There were pictures and home movies of Christmas gatherings, neighborhood Halloween parties, camping out and, at 5 years old, getting a haircut by his grandmother.

All week, the jury has heard from neighbor moms, church leaders, college roommates and childhood friends. They've listened to stories of better days when the defendant got good grades on school science projects, volunteered to pull weeds at the church and brought toys to orphans.

But the older Holmes described life starting to turn south for his son after a move from the strawberry fields of Castroville, California to San Diego when the defendant was entering middle school.

"Jimmy," as the family calls him, got good grades, but was struggling to fit in.

After graduating from high school, he started a job in a pill-coating factory.

"I suspected he was unhappy," explained his dad. Life started looking up when the defendant got into the Neuropsychiatry program at the University of Colorado. In the fall of 2011 he had his first girlfriend.
Holmes' father testified that at Christmas break that year, James was very sick with mononucleosis and he was concerned. By that spring, his son wasn't returning phone calls."We knew he had broken up with his girlfriend. We knew some things weren't going very well."

In truth, the convicted shooter had already begun buying guns and plotting out the July 20th attack; but he didn't reveal his plans to anyone.

Though they usually communicated by email, they set up a phone call for July 4th and had a long conversation, which for the normally-introverted James they knew, was very unusual. "He sure didn't sound depressed. He was pretty chatty," testified the father.

When Bob and Arlene Holmes got the call that a gunman had opened fire into the premiere of a Batman movie in the early morning of July 20 three years ago, they thought their son had been shot. To their horror, they found out from the media that it was their son who had done the shooting.

The family sent nearly 50 letters to the jail and visited three times before the trial procedures started. "Jim doesn't allow visitors, so we hadn't been able to see him. The first time was when he had his red hair."

Wednesday, Arlene Holmes will have her turn on the stand and tears are expected to be flowing in the Arapahoe County courtroom. Thursday morning both sides will have closing arguments and then the jury will deliberate whether the Holmes family's plea for them to see their son as a human being worked to save him from moving to the next phase, the decision of whether or not to put him to death.

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G.N. Miller - Pool/Getty Images(PLATTSBURGH, N.Y.) --  Prison worker Joyce Mitchell poured her heart out to investigators about her relationships with the convicted murderers she helped escape from an upstate New York prison, detailing her increasing sexual contact with one of them and her deepening involvement in the plot over time, according to a series of statements she made to police.

In the statements, obtained by ABC News, Mitchell, who pleaded guilty Tuesday, details her dreams of running off into the sunset with the men, only to have the fantasy unravel when she panicked on the night of the escape.

"I enjoyed the attention, the feeling both of them gave me, and the thought of a different life," she said in one of the three statements she gave investigators in the week following the escape.

Her relationship with one of the men, Richard Matt, began with seemingly innocent requests for help, but soon escalated into sexual contact, she said, including sending him nude photos to give to the other inmate, David Sweat, she said in the statements.

Matt and Sweat escaped from the maximum security Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora in a dramatic "Shawshank Redemption"-style breakout. Investigators caught up to the men after weeks on the lam and shot and killed Matt. Sweat was shot and captured.

Matt only began the relationship with Mitchell, who is married, after he hatched his escape plan from Clinton Correctional Facility with fellow convicted murderer David Sweat, the statements said.

Mitchell was investigated by jail officials for allegedly having relations with Sweat, but not enough evidence was found to continue the investigation.

The statements, obtained by ABC News, offer the first detailed account of the incident in Mitchell's own words.

Mitchell, who worked in the prison tailor shop, explained she had sexual contact with Matt but insisted that she and Sweat had never had any sexual contact.

She said that Matt made her “feel special” and she started doing favors for him. First, she called Matt’s daughter for him and then helped him get a hold of items he couldn't get for himself, including two pairs of glasses with lights on them, a screw driver bit, and two hacksaw blades.

At one point at the end of April 2015, Mitchell said she was alone with Matt in the prison tailor shop where she worked when he "grabbed me and kissed me," the statement said.

"It startled me," she said. "He kissed me with an open mouth kiss." The sexual request from Matt escalated from there over time and Mitchell obliged, she told investigators.

Mitchell told investigators how she started bringing contraband into the prison around that time, including smuggled in frozen hamburger meat, allegedly with the unwitting help of Correction Officer Gene Palmer.

"I originally brought in two blades, by bending them in half and putting them in some hamburger, which I then put in the freezer," she told investigators, according to the statements.

"I brought the frozen hamburger into work and put it in the freezer where I work. Inmate Matt stated he would have Correctional Officer Palmer pick up the hamburger and bring it back to his cell."

"The second time Inmate Matt asked me for hacksaw blades, he also asked for two chisels and a punch," Mitchell said. She said she put the blades in the hamburger again, froze the meat and took it into the jail.

Mitchell said she left it in a freezer, and a few days later, the hamburger was gone.

"Matt said he had gotten the items, so I assume C.O. Palmer brought them to him," Mitchell said, according to the statement.

Mitchell also said Matt gave her two pills to "drug my husband Lyle with." Mitchell said she doesn't know what the pills were, but that she took them home and flushed them down the toilet once police started interviewing her.

When recounting the night of the escape -- June 5 -- Mitchell said she had initially agreed to help Matt and Sweat escape and run away with them. But at the last minute, she panicked and decided she couldn't go through with it because she loved her husband.

She said they were supposed to meet at midnight, and they were going to go somewhere 6-7 hours away, but she doesn't remember where. Mitchell said the plan was for Matt to go off by himself and for Mitchell to be with Sweat.

Mitchell said she had agreed to help the prisoners because she believed she was “caught up in the fantasy”, and liked the attention the men paid to her and the thought of a different life.

Mitchell, 51, pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree promoting prison contraband and fourth-degree criminal facilitation. She faces a prison sentence ranging from 2 1/3 years to 7 years.

She also agreed to cooperate with the investigation and give up her teaching certificate.

The judge said Mitchell, who wiped away tears while making the plea, could be released on $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond. Mitchell was wearing her wedding ring in court.

Mitchell's attorney, Stephen Johnston, said Mitchell has been sobbing, anxious, depressed and remorseful since her arrest.

Johnston said Mitchell's husband, Lyle, is also upset, but continues to support his wife. Johnston said Lyle Mitchell believed it was in his wife's best interest to accept the plea deal.

"She realizes that she made a horrible mistake," Johnston said at a news conference after Tuesday's court hearing.

Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie agreed not to pursue other charges against Mitchell, including allegedly conspiring to murder her husband and sexual-related offenses, Wylie said.

Palmer, who was also arrested in connection with the escape, will face a grand jury next month. He has admitted providing the two inmates with certain items and access, but has denied knowing the men would escape.

Mitchell will be sentenced on Sept. 28.


ABC US News | World News

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