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Suspect In Texas A&M Commerce Double Homicide Charged In New Year’s Eve Murder

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The suspect in the deadly shooting of two sisters at Texas A&M University-Commerce this week, Jacques Smith, now faces a third count of capital murder added for the death of Steven W. Daniels Jr.

The 22-year-old father was shot at his Denton apartment on New Year’s Eve.

Denton Police have charged two other men as well in connection to his death.

Jalin Hargrove, 23, and Earnest Rogers, 26, were taken into custody after Denton Police detectives found evidence at Smith’s Rowlett home. Both men remain in the Denton City Jail. Their bond is set at $1 million each.

Smith’s criminal history includes charges for several aggravated robberies, thefts and evading arrest incidents.

Multiple law enforcement agencies told CBS 11 News they’re happy he’s behind bars.

“They didn’t just impact families in Denton, they didn’t just impact families in Texas A&M commerce, they impacted families not just across those jurisdictions but beyond,” said Denton police Chief Frank Dixon.

Smith is accused of killing sisters Deja, 19, and Abbaney Matts, 20, and injuring Abbaney’s 2-year-old child at Pride Rock residence hall.

According to family members, Smith was Abbaney Matts’ ex-boyfriend. Authorities were able to identify Smith as the suspect through surveillance video and tips from witnesses.

School officials said Deja Matts of Garland was a freshman at the university while Abbaney was not a student there.

It was later learned that Smith was arrested on Jan. 27 for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in Dallas County.

An affidavit details the assault, saying Smith “broke a glass lamp over Abbaney’s head, then threw a box fan at her.” Afterward, the fight moved to the kitchen where Abbaney told police he “threw a television at her and body slammed her to the floor.” Smith then hit her on the head with a metal frying pan several times, according to the affidavit.

Abbaney told police that Smith then grabbed a knife and told her “I’ll kill you,” while holding the knife above her.

He then fled in Abbaney’s car. But police caught up with him and took him into custody.

Smith was released two days later on a $15,000 bond. An Emergency Protective Order was completed for Abbaney after the alleged assault; just one week before the double homicide.

Garland police said at the time of their department’s arrest, Smith was not in violation of his probation ​for prior criminal incidents – there were no ​outstanding warrants. Smith was transferred to the Dallas County Jail and bonded out January 29. Then January on 31 his probation was revoked and a warrant for his arrest was issued. ​

Three days after that, the Texas A&M Commerce shooting ​happened.

Smith is currently at the Hunt County jail on a $2 million bond.

​Anyone with any additional information related to the Steven Daniels case is encouraged to call Denton County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-388-TIPS or the Denton PD tip line at 940-349-TIPS.

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Sheriff’s Commander Dies of Coronavirus

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DETROIT — A veteran commander at the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office died Wednesday due to the coronavirus, the Sheriff’s Office announced.

Cmdr. Donafay Collins, 63, was with the Sheriff’s Office almost 30 years, the department said in a statement. He is survived by his wife and four children.

The Sheriff’s Office reported that 18 staffers or contractors have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Wednesday night. On Sunday night that number was six.

Collins worked at the Division 2 jail downtown, the old jail, which is considered the toughest facility in the system due to the high-risk inmates it handles.

Collins had been hospitalized for weeks. In addition to the coronavirus, he had “some underlying medical issues,” Napoleon said.

“He looked very healthy,” Napoleon said. “But you never know what’s going on.”

Collins is the third law enforcement staffer in Detroit or Wayne County to die from coronavirus-related illnesses this week. On Tuesday, the Detroit Police Department announced the deaths Monday of a 38-year-old dispatcher Monday and Jonathan Parnell, commander of the homicide section, on Tuesday.

Collins was a DJ on Mix 92.3 FM until last year.

“During the day Commander Collins is the CO of court services; however when he’s off-duty he’s displaying his vocal abilities as an emcee for various events, including the hugely popular Friday night “Back Jam Show” broadcast live from Lucky’s Restaurant in Southfield,” a biography on the Sheriff’s Office website says.

2018: Collins participates in forum bridging gaps between police, youth

Due to the close living quarters and conditions, jails are thought to be a breeding ground for the coronavirus.

Those in the Wayne County justice system, including sheriff, prosecutor and chief circuit court judge, meet regularly and remotely to discuss which low-crime inmates at high risk for the virus high-coronavirus risk, low-crime risk inmates can safely be released from the jail during the outbreak. The Wayne County Jail population fell by almost 250 inmates between March 10 and March 24, when there were 1,134. More are expected to be released daily.

The jail also has contracted services for deep cleaning at its three adult facilities.

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Andrew Gillum to enter rehab, withdraw from politics after Miami hotel room episode

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According to New York Post: Andrew Gillum said Sunday night that he will enter a rehab facility to address his alcohol abuse.

The former Florida gubernatorial candidate made the decision after he was found inebriated inside a Miami Beach hotel room early Friday with another man who allegedly overdosed on crystal meth.

“After conversation with my family and deep reflection, I have made the decision to seek help, guidance and enter a rehabilitation facility at this time,” Gillum said in a statement.

Gillum, a Democrat who lost to now-Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2018, revealed that since that race, he “fell into a depression that has led to alcohol abuse.”

Without addressing Friday’s events, he said, “This has been a wake-up call for me.”

The 40-year-old was found vomiting in the bathroom of Mondrian South Beach by Aldo Mejias, 56, who then called police.

Another man, Travis Dyson, 30, collapsed on the bed and was treated for a possible drug overdose. Officers found three baggies of crystal meth on the bed and hotel room floor, according to Miami New Times.

In a statement after Friday’s incident, Gillum said alcohol — not drugs — was to blame for his intoxicated state.

Gillum said that with his decision to enter rehab, he will forgo all “public facing roles for the foreseeable future.”

“I am committed to doing the personal work to heal fully and show up in the world as a more complete person,” he wrote.

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Harvey Weinstein trial: Guilty of rape and criminal sexual act, but acquitted of top sex charges

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Film mogul Harvey Weinsten was found guilty Monday of rape and committing a criminal sexual act more than two years after news articles about his alleged serial sexual abuse of women ignited the MeToo movement.

But Weinstein, 67, was found not guilty in Manhattan state court of the most serious charges: two counts of predatory sexual assault for which he could have been sentenced to life in prison.

He also was acquitted of first-degree rape.

The jury of seven men and five women deliberated for nearly 27 hours over five days.

Weinstein was surrounded by court officers during the reading of the verdict, keeping a stoic look on his face as each verdict was announced.

Weinstein, who had been free on bond during the trial, was handcuffed and ordered held without bail pending his March 11 sentencing by Judge James Burke.

Weinstein, as the verdict was read, “just kept repeating, ‘But I’m innocent, but I’m innocent, I’m innocent, how could this happen in America?’ ” said his lawyer, Arthur Aidala.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who was in the courtroom for the verdict, told reporters later, “Weinstein is a vicious, serial sexual predator who used his power to threaten, rape, assault, trick, humiliate and silence his victims.”

“These women were not just brave, they were heroic,” Vance said of the accusers.

Scores of other women in the past several years have publicly claimed Weinstein abused them.

“As sure as I am bald, we will be appealing this,” said Aidala.

Another defense lawyer, Donna Rotunno, said, “Harvey is very strong,” when asked how he felt about the verdict.

“He took it like a man,” Rotunno said.

Weinstein faces a sentence of five to 25 years in prison for his conviction on a charge of committing a first-degree criminal sexual act by forcibly performing oral sex on production assistant Mimi Haley in 2006.

A charge of third-degree rape that Weinstein was convicted of relates to the claim that he attacked aspiring actress Jessica Mann in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013. That charge has a maximum possible sentence of four years.

Weinstein also faces criminal charges in Los Angeles, where prosecutors last month accused him of raping one woman and sexually assaulting a second woman over a two-day period in 2013.

“While it is disappointing that today’s outcome does not deliver the true, full justice that so many women deserve, Harvey Weinstein will now forever be known as a convicted serial predator,” said a statement by a group of women who have accused him of sexual abuse.

“This conviction would not be possible without the testimony of the courageous women and the many women who have spoken out,” said the group, which calls itself the Silence Breakers.

“Despite intimidation from Weinstein’s legal team, they courageously shared their stories with the jury, the courtroom and the world. This has been a flawed process from the beginning but has further exposed the difficulties women face in coming forward to tell the truth about powerful abusers.”

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