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New Details in Chilling Kitchen Sex Attack of Young NJ Woman

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What to Know

  • A man faces multiple charges in the sex attack of a young woman who was ambushed in her suburban New Jersey home, prosecutors said[hhmc]

  • Muhammed Sharif, 40, of Irvington, was charged with aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and burglary in the Oct. 16 attack[hhmc]

  • No one was in custody for days following the attack, putting the tight-knit community on edge[hhmc]

The alleged sexual predator accused of ambushing a young woman in her suburban New Jersey home earlier this month pleaded not guilty to a slate of charges including aggravated sexual assault on Tuesday.

Muhammad Sharif, a 40-year-old man with nearly two dozen arrests and two prior felony convictions, was ordered held in jail until trial in the Tuesday, Oct. 16 attack on the 24-year-old woman in Maplewood. Investigators believe the Irvington man followed her home after a late-morning encounter at a business area in the town, then forced his way inside and attacked her in the kitchen.

Assistant prosecutor Deborah Freier described the victim in court as developmentally delayed and said she lived with her parents; it wasn't clear if they were home at the time Sharif allegedly forced his way in.

Multiple surveillance videos show Sharif in a reflective vest walking toward the victim's house and running away from the house right after the time she called 911, prosecutors say. They also have video of him getting on a bus and getting off a bus, walking into his apartment building in Irvington wearing the same clothes the victim reported her attacker had been wearing, prosecutors say.

Hadi Sutrisno/AP

Sharif's mother positively identified him as the man seen in those surveillance videos, officials said. A search warrant recovered the clothing he allegedly wore at the time of the attack, along with two reflective vests.

No one was in custody for days following the attack, putting the tight-knit community on edge. Prosecutors described Sharif as a danger to society, citing his two felony convictions in the last 10 years, one of which was for aggravated assault. He also has numerous misdemeanors and was on probation at the time of his arrest, officials said.

Sharif's attorney didn't directly address the allegations to reporters, but said in court his client should be allowed to wear an ankle bracelet rather than be confined to a cell until trial. A judge denied that request.

Given his history, Sharif faces up to a life sentence if convicted in this case.

Police in Dominican Republic recover car used by couple who went missing

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Authorities extracted a car from the area where Orlando Moore and Portia Ravenelle went missing on March 27, according to Col. Frank Felix Duran Mejia. The vehicle identification number of the car pulled from the Caribbean Sea matches the number of the car Moore and Ravenelle had rented, according to Duran Mejia.Video provided to CNN by Dominican Republic National Police show the extraction of the vehicle. From the images, it's difficult to discern the make and model of the car. Upholstery, cables and other debris appear to dangle from the car as it was pulled from the sea. Locals describe that zone as "la batidora" — the blender — because of the rough seas normally found in the area.Duran Mejia said a black iPhone was also recovered. It's unclear where the phone was found in relation to the car. Searchers recover a black iPhone from the waters where the couple went missing.A photo provided to CNN by Dominican Republic National Police showed the back of the phone was shattered. The word "iPhone" is clearly visible. The agency is tracing the phone to figure out if it belongs to Moore or Ravenelle.The National Police believe the car with Ravenelle, 52, and Moore, 40, plunged not long after the pair left for the airport to catch a flight home to New York.Detectives spoke to fishermen who said they heard a loud noise coming from 19 kilometers (about 11.8 miles) away from the freeway of Las Americas, Santo Domingo Este early that morning, the National Police said.The fishermen said they found a woman who was seriously injured and not carrying any identification, police said.If she had known her friend was in a Dominican Republic ICU, she could have held her hand before she diedShe was taken by ambulance to the hospital with severe trauma and contusions to the head, hospital spokesman Dario Mañon said. Ravenelle died April 4, before she was in a condition in which hospital officials could take her photo and share it with the media, he said. Mañon told CNN that no family or friends had called the hospital looking for Ravenelle.The fishermen also reported seeing a vehicle at the bottom of the sea, but because of rough conditions, divers had not been able to identify the vehicle, Durán Mejia said. Crews waited days for the seas to calm to begin their search.On March 31, the body of a man fitting the description of Moore was found at sea near Sans Souci, Durán Mejia said.Police are still working to identify the body they believe is Moore's, but they say they are sure both bodies of the missing pair have been found.Authorities are hoping Moore's brother can identify him by photographs of his tattoos. One of his tattoos, on the right arm, reads "Milan."Moore's friend, Francesca Figueroa, told CNN she confirmed to the police that Moore has a tattoo Read More – Source

Colts owner to pay for funeral of NFL player killed in crash

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Indiana State Police identified the suspected driver as Manuel Orrego-Savala, 37, an undocumented immigrant who is a Guatemalan citizen. Police said he gave them an alias at the scene — Alex Cabrera Gonsales — and attempted to flee on foot. Orrego-Savala was taken to the Marion County Jail, accused of driving without a license and on suspicion of intoxicated driving. He was briefly in court on Tuesday for an "advisement of rights" appearance ahead of his initial hearing, which will be held on Wednesday in Marion County Circuit Court.When Ortega-Savala appeared before the judge he was assisted by an interpreter. He questioned why he was in court, as he claimed he wasn't driving the car in the fatal crash that killed the two men, according to the court clerk. Orrego-Savala does not currently have an attorney, but one will be appointed before Wednesday morning's initial hearing.Jackson, 26, was a linebacker with the Indianapolis Colts and was a passenger in the ride-share vehicle. Jeffrey Monroe, 54, of Avon, Indiana, was the ride-share driver who also was killed in the crash around 4 a.m. Sunday.Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay will pay for the funerals of Jackson and Monroe, a team spokesperson confirmed to CNN.

Trump tweets on crash

President Donald Trump referenced Orrego-Savala's immigration status in a tweet Tuesday morning, saying it was "disgraceful that a person illegally in our country" killed Jackson. He also called on Democrats to "get tough on the Border, and with illegal immigration, FAST!"Indiana State Police said Monday they are working with the prosecutor's office to file criminal charges in Orrego-Savala's case.Orrego-Savala was deported in 2007 and 2009, according to ICE. He had entered the US illegally in July 2004 and he was convicted of driving under the influence in Redwood City, California, in 2005, ICE said."Additionally, he has many other misdemeanor criminal convictions and arrests in California and Indiana," the statement from ICE said.As part of his call for tighter immigration policy, Trump has repeatedly highlighted suspected crimes in which the suspect is an undocumented immigrant. On the campaign trail, he spoke often about the 2015 killing of Kate Steinle, a 32-year-old in San Francisco, allegedly by a man who had been deported five times previously. The man, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, was found not guilty of murder in the case.Vice President Mike Pence, the former governor of Indiana, tweeted about Jackson's death Monday, describing it as "a senseless & avoidable tragedy."

Fatal crash details

Indianapolis Colts linebacker Edwin Jackson walked off the field following a game on Nov. 20, 2016.Before the crash on Sunday morning, Monroe had pulled his 2018 Lincoln to the side of Interstate 70 in Indianapolis because Jackson had become ill, according to state police. Monroe was believed to have stepped out of the car to help Jackson, police said. Both men were standing outside the car when a black Ford F-150 pickup truck drove onto the emergency shoulder and struck them and the back of the car. One of the men was thrown into the center lane. A state trooper spotted the wreckage and as he slowed to stop for the crash, he struck the body in the center lane, officials said.Both men were pronounced dead at the scene by the Marion County coroner's office. Police said Orrego-Savala was the driver of the F-150. ICE said it has placed an immigration detainer on Orrego-Savala at the Marion County Jail.A man listed as Alex Cabrera Gonsales — the alias officials say Orrego-Savala used — was arrested in March 2017 in Whitestown, Indiana, after a driving infraction, according to a Whitestown Police report. Whitestown Police confirmed that Cabrera Gonsales and Orrego-Savala are the same person.After being pulled over for failing to stop at a stop sign, he told police he did not have a driver's license but had a Mexico ID card, according to the police report. Cabrera Gonsales was arrested and accused of operating a vehicle while never receiving a license, and was handcuffed and taken to Boone County Jail for further processing.Scott Rolston of Whitestown Police said the department generally would not communicate with ICE for a typical traffic stop."After an arrest, a suspect would be brought to the Boone County Jail, where they would be fingerprinted, processed, and if ICE were to be engaged it would be at that part of the process," Rolston said.Cabrera Gonsales pleaded guilty to operating a vehicle while never receiving a license, which is a misdemeanor, according to documents provided by CNN affiliate WISH-TV. He was sentenced to two days in the Boone County Jail and was released after one day served, according to the court documents.Jackson was from Atlanta but made a home for himself with the Colts. The inside linebacker started eight games in 2016 for the Colts but did not play this past season due to an injury."Edwin was loved by all in the Colts organization," the team said. "We admired his outgoing personality, competitive spirit and hardworking mentality. He was well-respected among all with whom he crossed paths, and he will be greatly missed in our locker room and throughout our entire organization."Jackson was an undrafted free agent out of Georgia Southern in 2015. The team's head football coach, Chad Lunsford, said in a statement that Jackson represented "how a young man should live his life. He earned everything that he was given and left this world way too soon."

CNN's Chuck Johnston, Ann Roche, Athena Jones and Janet DiGiacomo contributed to this report.

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Happening Today: Facebook, Liver Disease, Bruce Springsteen

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What to Know

  • The White House and the State Department are at odds over Putin's offer to allow the U.S. access to Russians accused of election meddling[hhmc]

  • Deaths from liver disease have risen sharply in the U.S., and doctors say the biggest factor is drinking — especially among young adults[hhmc]

  • Netflix announced it will broadcast Bruce Springsteen's Broadway show on Dec. 15, his last performance[hhmc]

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Russian Claims Against Americans Are “Absurd,” State Department Says

The White House and the State Department are at odds over Russian President Putin's offer to allow the U.S. access to Russians accused of election meddling in return for interviews of Americans accused by the Kremlin of unspecified crimes. Even as the White House said the offer, made by Putin to President Trump at their summit in Helsinki, was under consideration, the State Department called Russia's allegations against the Americans "absurd," suggesting that any questioning of them would not be countenanced by the U.S. The Russian claims against the Americans, including former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, relate to allegations of fraud and corruption. Spokeswoman Heather Nauert noted that a U.S. federal court had already rejected Russia's charges regarding British businessman and vocal Kremlin critic Bill Browder. She said Russian authorities already know the U.S. position. Browder was a driving force behind a U.S. law targeting Russian officials over human rights abuses.

Facebook CEO Uses Holocaust Example to Defend Misinformation Efforts

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerbergsaid in a podcast interview his social network does not remove posts that deny the Holocaust because the company wants to allow its users to make unintentional mistakes, NBC News reported. Zuckerberg volunteered the example of Holocaust deniers unprompted in the middle of a discussion on the Recode Decode podcast about Facebooks role in the spread of hoaxes and false news stories. “Im Jewish, and theres a set of people who deny that the Holocaust happened,” he said. “I find that deeply offensive. But at the end of the day, I dont believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong.” “I dont think that theyre intentionally getting it wrong,” he continued, before the interviewer, Kara Swisher, interrupted him. Zuckerberg later backtracked, saying in an email to Swisher that he did not mean to defend the intent of Holocaust deniers, according to a copy of the email posted by Swisher.

Deaths From Liver Disease Are Surging, and Drinking Is to Blame

Deaths from liver disease have risen sharply in the U.S., and doctors say the biggest factor is drinking — especially among young adults. A new study found a 65 percent increase in deaths from cirrhosis of the liver since 1999, NBC News reported. The biggest increase is among millennials: the team found that deaths from cirrhosis are rising 10 percent a year among people aged 25 to 34. People so young might not even realize that they can drink themselves to death so quickly, but they can, said liver specialist Dr. Haripriya Maddur of Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

Woman Finds Black Widow in Grocery Store Grapes

A mom in Branford, Connecticut, is warning fruit-lovers to be on alert after she said she found a venomous black widow spider in a package of grapes she purchased at the grocery store. She said she bought the grapes from the Branford Stop & Shop. A few hours later she made the discovery while she and her 11-year-old son were in the middle of eating the grapes. Luckily it didnt bite, and no one was hurt. She told NBC Connecticut that Stop & Shop offered to give her double her money back for the grapes. Stop & Shop said in response saying in part: “Stop & Shop and our grape growers take necessary measures to keep spiders out of the grapes that are sold. Despite that effort, it is possible for a spider to get into the bunches as they are a part of the natural, organic environment.”

Three Mexican journalists were killed in four days

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In the southern state of Guerrero, Edgar Alberto Nava and Rogelio Barragan were killed days apart, and authorities have not said if the two killings are connected or linked to the victims' work as journalists. The state of Guerrero, many territories of which are controlled by drug trafficking organizations, has one of the country's highest homicide rates, the research initiative Justice in Mexico says. Nava was killed Friday in Zihuatanejo de Azueta. Nava was "was shot with a 9mm caliber firearm," the state attorney general's office said. An investigation is ongoing, the office said. Nava worked for the news outlet La Verdad de Zihuatanejo. He also worked as a municipal employee, the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas said. Jorge Sánchez Allec, the mayor of Zihuatanejo de Azueta, said he was "deeply sorry for the attack against my friend and colleague Edgar Nava." On July 30, Barragan was found dead inside a car with his hands tied and signs of torture, according Mexico's government run news site Notimex. Barragan, who worked for the digital news outlet Guerrero Al Instante, was found dead in Zacatepec, a town in the state of Morelos that is not far from Guerrero. In the southern state of Veracruz, Jorge Ruíz Vázquez was killed Friday, Gov. Cuitláhuac García said.García vowed a "coordinated operation to capture the culprits."The Secretary of Public Security of the State of Veracruz, Hugo Gutiérrez Maldonado, tweeted that he condemns "strongly the murder of the journalist" who worked as a correspondent for the graphic newspaper, Xalapa.Mexico is the most dangerous country for journalists in the Western Hemisphere, the Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ) says. CPJ's Mexico Representative Jan-Albert Hootsen called for "an immediate and credible investigation" into both deaths."These two brutal killings within days of each other are the tragic consequence of Mexico's failure to seriously address impunity in attacks on the press," Hootsen said in a Read More – Source

Garfield High School in NJ Closed Tuesday Due to Threat

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A New Jersey school is closed Tuesday due to a threat, school officials said late Monday.

Classes at Garfield High School will not be in session after a threat that is currently being investigated by police, the school announced on Twitter as well as on its official website.

Boilermakers: due to a threat that is currently being investigated by Garfield Police, GHS will be closed tomorrow,Tuesday,10/16. All other Garfield schools will be open.

— Garfield High School (@Principal_GHS) October 16, 2018

All other Garfield schools will be open.

The details of the specific threat were not made available. Garfield schools have been targeted by threats in the past.

WalletHub: The Best & Worst Cities for Vegans, VegetariansWalletHub: The Best & Worst Cities for Vegans, Vegetarians

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