Ty Wright/Getty Images(ASHLAND, Ky.) — A Kentucky county clerk, Kim Davis, was jailed Thursday after a judge found her in contempt of court for her refusal to issue same-sex marriage licenses, but five of her deputies said under oath they would comply with the court's order to issue the licenses.
U.S. District Judge David Bunning ruled against the Rowan County clerk before deputy marshals removed her from the courtroom.
Bunning said Davis could be released if she complies with the order to resume issuing licenses. She has refused to issue marriage licenses to anyone, arguing that such a move was a way around discriminating against same-sex couples.
The ACLU had asked that she be fined but the judge said he didn’t believe that was enough to force her into action.
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, which is representing Davis, said in a statement, “Everyone is stunned at this development. Kim Davis is being treated as a criminal because she cannot violate her conscience. While she may be behind bars for now, Kim Davis is a free woman. Her conscience remains unshackled.”
The controversy surrounding her refusal played out today in court, where the judge had told her to appear after the Supreme Court this week refused to intervene in an appeals court’s affirmation that she issue the licenses.
The crowd of marriage equality supporters that had gathered outside of the courthouse in Ashland, Kentucky, began to cheer as the news spread.
Davis was called to testify at today's hearing and she reiterated that she believes issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples is against her religious beliefs, even though she has been ordered to do so as a result of an earlier Supreme Court ruling.
"My conscience will not allow me," she said several times during her testimony.
On the stand she was quiet, almost whispering, and teared up when talking about her religious beliefs.
"I did a lot of vile and wicked things in my past," Davis said when asked about her life before becoming a Christian in 2011.
Grace Beahm/Getty Images(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- State prosecutors will be seeking the death penalty against the alleged South Carolina church shooter, they announced on Thursday.
In a court filing released on Thursday, state prosecutors indicated that they will be seeking the death penalty when Dylann Roof is tried in the killing of nine people at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in June.
Cited in the filing as the rationale for seeking capital punishment was the fact that more than two people were killed and others' lives were put at risk.
Solicitor Scarlett Wilson is scheduled to explain the state's decision at a news conference Thursday afternoon.
iStock/Thinkstock(SAN ANTONIO) -- A school bus driver in Texas was fired and three women face charges after the women allegedly boarded a bus filled with middle-school students and rode to school, officials said.
The alleged incident occurred last Friday on a bus from the North East Independent School District in San Antonio.
Video footage from inside the bus, first obtained by San Antonio station KENS-TV, appears to show the women slipping past the driver and taking seats. Two of the women sat in the back of the bus, while the third sat next to a middle-school boy.
“We don’t know them,” students could be heard saying when the women boarded the bus.
The driver continued on his route and arrived at the school, where two of the unnamed women allegedly slipped past the driver again. But when the driver saw the third woman, he recognized that she wasn’t a student.
The women were charged with criminal trespassing warnings. One of the women was also cited for possessing alcohol on school property, while another of the women was charged with assault after allegedly grabbing a student’s arm, authorities said.
Aubrey Chancellor, a spokeswoman with the district, said the new school year may have contributed to the matter.
“It’s obviously difficult at the beginning of school with new faces," Chancellor said. "But, regardless, this was a big mistake, and that is why this bus driver no longer works for this district."
KOMO-TV(SEATTLE) -- A tree that crashed down into a Snohomish County, Washington house during a recent storm -- splitting it in half -- narrowly missed the family of four inside it.
Homeowner Marlon Waske said that he, his wife, their two young daughters and their dog had just moved into the home about three weeks ago, and they weren't even finished unpacking when a strong windstorm knocked over the large tree into their home this past Saturday.
"My wife and I were just sitting on the couch upstairs with my one-year-old and three-year-old daughters and our dog when we heard a big gust of wind coming through," Waske, 38, told ABC News. "It seemed to be at least 60 miles per hour, and we could hear the branches hitting the roof. We thought, 'Whoa, that's getting bad,' so we grabbed the kids and dog and went downstairs."
Just three minutes after moving downstairs, the tree crashed through their home, he said. The tree stopped only about a foot away from his head, he added.
"When it came down, it sounded like a war zone," Waske said. "It looked like it, too. Everything -- debris, glass, the stairwell -- came shooting down, and then it was just the whole room full of dust. Our ears were ringing."
Neighbors came running down the street, he said, adding that "they thought everyone was dead until I put my thumbs up and showed them we were OK."
"We ran outside, and we were all still in our pajamas and bare feet," Waske said. "When we came outside, we saw our cars were completely totaled. Our neighbors took us in."
Waske said he's been frustrated with the slow response of his insurance company, who he declined to name, but he's thankful for local tree services who helped remove the tree from their home on Wednesday night.
ABC News is respecting Waske's wishes not to identify the city where their home is to prevent anyone from coming and trying to take something from the damaged home.
The family temporarily lived in a hotel for a little bit but has since been "bouncing back and forth" between Waske's parents' home and his wife's parents' home, he said.
"It's been hard because we haven't spent one night all together yet because I'm taking care of the dog at one house while my wife stays with the kids," Waske said. "We haven't gone to the hospital either. My wife's got headaches. My ears are still ringing, and our bodies are aching. It feels like we were in a car wreck. Luckily, the kids seem OK."
The father of two added that what's even more heartbreaking about the situation is that he and his dad had spent over three months remodeling the "dream home" before he and his family moved in.
"One thing we did during remodeling was added steel brackets to a beam running across upstairs, and I think those brackets are what stopped the tree from going through and crushing us," he said.
A structural engineer was scheduled to take a look at the home today to determine whether or not it was safe for workers to be inside and begin work on the home, Waske said.
"I just really want my house back," he said. "I just want to rebuild it and have my family back together."
iStock/Thinkstock(PEABODY, Kan.) -- A farmer from Peabody, Kansas, recently recorded himself catching a fish using his drone, which he transformed into a fishing pole.
Derek Klingenberg, known as Farmer Derek on his YouTube Channel with over 58,871 subscribers, went out to his private pond on his farm this past Monday morning with his drone in tow, he said.
"I tied a fishing line to the drone complete with the bobber and hook, and I forgot bait, but I found a plastic worm lying around, and off it went," Klingenberg, 36, told ABC News Thursday. "I'm always trying to to think fun things to do with my drone, and I thought why not go fishing?"
The video shows the drone whirring over the pond when a Blue Gill suddenly bites and Klingenberg flies it back to him.
"Yes! My first drone fish!" Klingenberg can be heard shouting, while sporting a huge grin.
Before taking off the hook, he thought, "But first, let me take a selfie," he said. The video shows the Snapchat photo he took with the fish on the line.
The viral video had over 771,000 views as of Thursday morning.
Klingenberg told ABC News he's started making videos as Farmer Derek two years ago on the Kansas farm, which belongs to his brother, dad and him. He said they raise cattle, corn, soybeans and wheat.
His favorite video he's done so far is "Farm Dog," a parody of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood" and a tribute to his "canine BFF for shizzle," he said.
Mark Steven Olson(LUBEC, Maine) -- Beachgoers in Lubec, Maine, near the Canadian border, tried to save a 30-foot-long basking shark that recently washed ashore, according to a video showing the desperate rescue attempt.
Onlooker Mark Olsen recorded the video Wednesday morning, when more than a dozen people spent several hours pouring buckets of ocean water into the large shark's gills and onto its skin.
The 30-foot-long shark can be seen immobile, lying on its side with a bloodied fin in the video.
Despite the efforts to save the shark, it died Wednesday afternoon, according to Lubec Town Administrator John Sutherland. He said the College of the Atlantic will be handling the shark's remains.
It was unclear how the shark washed ashore the beach.
Basking sharks are filter-feeders that mostly eat plankton and are rarely seen, swimming in deep waters, according to The Shark Trust, a U.K.-registered charity working to advance the worldwide conservation of sharks.
Airman 1st Class Veronica Pierce/Air Force(NEW ORLEANS) -- The Air Force veteran who has been trying to reconnect with a girl he rescued 10 years ago during Hurricane Katrina has finally found her, thanks to the power of social media, he said.
This past March, Master Sgt. Michael Maroney started the social media campaign hashtag #FindKatrinaGirl in the hopes of reuniting with the three-year-old girl he rescued. She was was photographed smiling in pigtails and pink shirt hugging Maroney back in 2005.
The iconic New Orleans image has served as a symbol of hope after the devastation.
"When she wrapped me up with that hug, I just melted, and the weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders," Maroney, 40, previously told ABC News. "Everything in the world just stopped, and I wasn’t in New Orleans or in the devastation, I was just being hugged by a beautiful little girl."
Unfortunately, he never got her name. But last week, a miracle happened, he said.
"A friend of hers contacted my son on his Instagram and said, 'Hey, the girl your dad's looking for is a friend of mine," Maroney told ABC News today. "He sent us a photo of the girl a month after Katrina, showing her and her family in a shelter in Tennessee. I compared that photo with my photo, and I knew that it was her."
Maroney found out the girl was now 13, that her name was Leshay Brown and that she and her family were currently living in Waveland, Mississippi.
The airman, who currently lives in San Antonio, Texas, said that when he phoned Brown and her family, he was nervous and scared that it would be a hoax, but her voice and the memories her mother shared confirmed for him that this was indeed the girl.
"Words cannot describe how I felt hearing their voices again at that moment," Maroney said. "I was like, 'Is this real? Is this really her?' I've been waiting for 10 years for this, and finally I found her. I had a stupid smile across my whole face the whole time."
Maroney said though Brown could only remember little of their helicopter ride together 10 years ago, her mother remembered everything.
"I was just happy to know they're alive and doing alright," he said. "Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks I'll get to meet them in person, and I plan on bringing my two boys. They're right around her age, so I think that's why when I first met her 10 years ago, I was drawn to her."
Maroney added that he wants to thank everyone who took to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and other social media to help him find Brown.
Photo by Richard Ellis/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Law enforcement officials around the country are racing to purchase body cameras for their officers.
Officials in Texas’ Bexar County, which includes San Antonio,voted Tuesday to buy more body cameras for officers a day after cell phone video appeared to show sheriff deputies shooting a man with his hands up.
Taser, the largest manufacturer of the devices, says it's had a 154 percent increase in sales in the past year.
The buying spree comes amid an environment where controversial police encounters continue to make headlines and cops are under ever increasing scrutiny.
Body cameras often vindicate police actions. In Palestine, Texas, for instance, a camera revealed that a suspect suddenly pulled a gun on officers as they were escorting him out of a bar.
Also, a routine traffic stop in Trinity, Texas, last week turned unexpectedly serious as on officer drew his firearm on the driver of a parked car. The police dash-cam video appeared to show the officer aggressively going for his gun at a startled man without provocation.
But the body camera showed a different vantage point and revealed that the officer suddenly saw a gun in the car.
"Is that a real gun right there?” the officer asked.
"No! Don't you touch that gun! You keep your hands out of the car,” the driver responded.
Trinity Police Chief, Steven Jones, said he was thankful for the department’s new body cameras.
“If officer Wheeler would have shot the gentleman and all we had was our dash-car video,there would have been an outrage that officer Wheeler shot this unarmed man unjustly,” Jones said.
Many police departments across the country agree with Jones’ views on body camera expansion. Just this week, the Los Angeles Police Department and the New York Police Department also expanded their use.
Police officers search an area for suspects involved in shooting an officer September 1, 2015 in Fox Lake, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(FOX LAKE, Ill.) -- A woman was charged Thursday morning with falsifying a report about suspicious men near the Illinois town where a police officer was shot and killed earlier this week, authorities said.
A manhunt continues for the three suspects responsible for the death of Lt. Joe Gliniewicz, who was shot and killed Tuesday in the Chicago suburb of Fox Lake.
According to a Lake County Sheriff’s Office press release, Kristin B. Kiefer, 30, called police at 9:20 p.m. Wednesday to report that two men approached her car in the town of Volo, but later fled into a cornfield.
Federal, state and local authorities spent five hours searching the area – but no one was located.
Kiefer later admitted that she fabricated the account, the sheriff’s office said, because “she wanted attention from a family where she was employed as a nanny.”
“Additionally, she indicated she chose this location to fabricate the event, as she was aware of the death of a police officer in the area,” the press release states.
Kiefer was charged with two counts of disorderly conduct for falsifying a police report, and is currently being held in jail pending a bond hearing, authorities said.
Christian Taylor, right, poses alongside his younger brother Joshua Taylor. (Courtesy Joshua Taylor)(ARLINGTON, Texas) -- Christian Taylor, the college football player shot to death by police in Arlington, Texas last month, had marijuana and a psychedelic drug in his system at the time of the shooting, an autopsy confirmed.
According to the autopsy report released on Wednesday, Taylor was shot four times by police, but had six gunshot wounds found on his person. In his system, the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office found THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and 25iNBOMe, a psychedelic drug that the report says can "cause distorted perceptions, agitation and hallucinations, and have been associated with random and bizarre behavior in users."
The Angelo State University football player was seen on surveillance video bashing car windows, starting one vehicle, and driving that vehicle through a gate ito the showroom. The video did not capture his shooting.
The autopsy report said that officers attempted to use a Taser to subdue Taylor, but that only one of the stun gun's two prongs struck him.
Capt. Kristen Griest (R) and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver (L) with their Ranger tabs after the graduation ceremony of the United States Army's Ranger School on August 21, 2015 at Fort Benning, Georgia . Griest and Haver are the first women ever to successfully complete the U.S. Army's Ranger School. Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- In the wake of the graduation of a pair of women from the U.S. Army Ranger course last month, the Army has announced that it will fully remove the gender barrier for all future classes.
The 19 women who began the course in April were intended to be part of a one-time assessment to determine which units should continue to be restricted to female servicemembers. However, after two women successfully completed the class, the Army says all qualified personnel will be eligible for the Ranger Course regardless of gender.
"We must ensure that this training opportunity is available to all soldiers who are qualified and capable and we continue to look for ways to select, train, and retrain the best soldiers to meet our nation's needs," said Secretary of the Army John McHugh.
"Giving every qualified soldier the opportunity to attend the Ranger Course, the Army's premier small unit leadership school, ensures we are maintaining our combat readiness today, tomorrow and for future generations," added Chief of Staff of Army Gen. Mark Milley.
Aydin Bacak/iStock/Thinkstock(FORT CARSON, Colo.) -- Two soldiers were hospitalized on Wednesday when a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter suffered a hard landing during a training mission.
A press release from Fort Carson noted that the training was occurring on U.S. Forest Service land, and that four soldiers were on board at the time. Chief Deputy Steve Johnson of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said that all four "had varying degrees of injury," but that only two remained hospitalized on Thursday morning. None of the injuries are believed to have been life-threatening.
One of the soldiers on board the helicopter was able to alert authorities to the crash and provide the location of the helicopter, a Douglas County Sheriff's Office representative said at a Wednesday press conference.
ABC News(BALTIMORE) -- The six Baltimore police officers charged in connection with Freddie Gray's death can have separate trials, a judge ruled Wednesday.
Deputy State’s Attorney Janice Bledsoe had argued at the pre-trial hearing at Baltimore City Circuit Court that three of the officers should be tried together, saying they exhibited "degrees of the same breach of care."
But Judge Barry Williams agreed with the defense that evidence in one trial would not necessarily be admissible in another, concluding that trying everyone together "is not in the interest of justice."
Williams also ruled that the charges against the six police officers will not be dismissed and that State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby will not be recused from the case.
Williams denied the two defense motions. None of the six officers charged was present, only their lawyers.
Andrew Graham, who represented all six officers in the argument for dismissal of charges due to "prosecutorial misconduct," said that State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby, the chief prosecutor for Baltimore, "violated public conduct" and was "reckless" during her May 1 news conference about the arrests by implying guilt of the officers and discussing evidence. Mosby was present in court Wednesday but did not speak.
Graham hammered home the fact that Mosby used the phrase "no justice, no peace" -- a common protest chant in the Black Lives Matter movement -- noting that it was "tantamount to saying no conviction, no peace."
Graham also argued that Mosby discussed evidence in the case and that it wasn't her job to represent the Gray family.
Michael Schatzow, there to represent the State's Attorney's office, argued that the defense was taking Mosby's comments out of context and that she only remarked on probable cause, which was a matter of public record.
"She never expressed personal opinion of guilt," Schatzow said.
That’s when Judge Williams interrupted. The judge rhetorically snapped, "Is it the prosecutors job to calm the city or to prosecute cases?"
Graham also argued that Mosby used the protest chant -"no justice, no peace" - to prevent further crimes.
Judge Williams also dismissed the defense's motion to recuse Mosby and her office from the case. The judge said that it was "troubling and condescending" for the defense to argue that Mosby was compromised and should be recused because of her marriage to Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby.
Officers Caesar Goodson Jr., William Porter, Edward Nero and Garrett Miller, Lt. Brian Rice and Sgt. Alicia White were arrested and charged in May in relation to Gray's death. The charges are varied and include murder and involuntary manslaughter. All six have pleaded not guilty. Gray, 25, was placed under police custody in Baltimore on April 12, and he sustained a spinal injury during that time, authorities said. Gray went into a coma several days later and died a week after his arrest.
A small group of protesters gathered today outside the courthouse in downtown Baltimore and nearby streets, briefly blocking the roadway, according to the Baltimore Police Department, noting that there was one arrest during the protests.
The trial in the death of Gray is set to begin Oct. 13.
Bemus Point-Stow Ferry shut-down for rest of year after mechancial issues cause broken drive system...
A mechanical problem with the drive system of the historic Bemus Point-Stow Ferry has led ...Read More