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Kali Hardig improvement; NOPD officer arrested for DUI; Kendrick Johnson death not accidental

Kali Hardig (31306)
Kali Hardig


It’s new technology that should make crime fighting in Arizona a whole lot faster. Vince Figarelli heads up the state crime lab with Arizona’s Department of Public Safety. He said that their DNA machines can usually run results in about a day or two. However, the state just purchased a new piece of equipment that can get DNA results in less than two hours. “That can make a significant difference,” said Figarelli. “If you have a suspect or perpetrator who is committing multiple crimes, the quicker they can apprehend that person, the better that’s going to be to prevent further crimes from occurring.” The device is called the Rapid Hit 200, one of only a few machines like it in the country. The rapid DNA analysis machine has yet to be used to solve any crimes in Arizona because officials say it needs to be tested and validated first. Authorities are expecting it to be ready to go by the first of the year, when law enforcement agencies across the state can request to use it.


A 12-year-old Arkansas girl who was infected with a rare brain-eating parasite continues to improve, Arkansas Children’s Hospital spokesman Tom Bonner said recently. Kali Hardig is eating, drinking, smiling and talking, Bonner added. She is even walking with assistance during therapy sessions. When the young girl entered the hospital earlier this summer, she was in critical condition, unresponsive and unable to breathe without the assistance of a breathing tube. Hardig’s doctors have been in virtually uncharted territory as they treat her for the rare amoeba, called Naegleria fowleri. Of 128 known cases in the past half century, just two patients have survived, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hardig is one of two 12-year-olds who recently contracted the amoeba. Zachary Reyna of Florida died last month of the parasite, even after receiving the same experimental drug that was given to Kali. He contracted the amoeba after kneeboarding in a water-filled ditch by his house Aug. 3, his family told CNN affiliate WBBH. Naegleria fowleri is found in hot springs and warm, fresh water, most often in the southeastern United States.


The Department of Corrections has confirmed that a 65-year-old man has escaped from a prison complex near Cañon City early Wednesday morning. The DOC said Jerry Chase, 65, was missing during a 5 a.m. formal count at the Skyline Corrections Center, which is located on the East Cañon Prison complex. Chase was in the fourth year of serving three consecutive four-year sentences after being convicted of stalking and harassment in Grand County. He is eligible for parole on Oct. 2, and his mandatory release date is Oct. 2, 2019. Chase is described as a White male, standing 6-feet and weighing approximately 180 pounds. He is mostly bald with thinning blonde hair on the sides of his head. The DOC is urging residents to avoid contact and notify local law enforcement if Chase is spotted. According to court records, Chase resided in Wapiti Meadows, a low-income housing complex in Grand County, from 2002 to 2008, when he met the three named victims in his case.

Dave Chappelle (31304)


Dave Chappelle explained to a crowd in Chicago why he walked off stage in Hartford last week. And the comedian had nothing nice to stay about his stay in the capital city. On Aug. 29, Chappelle walked off the stage at Comcast Theater in the middle of his performance. He blamed fans in the arena for heckling him. “Thank you and good night,” Chappelle said as he walked off the stage. Fans told Eyewitness News that the performance lasted 23 minutes, which was what he was contractually required to perform. During the performance, Chappelle read excerpts from a book, smoked a few cigarettes and responded to hecklers. “I like some of you. I hate some of you,” Chappelle said during the performance. On Tuesday night, Chappelle took to the stage at First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, Ill., where he explained his actions. “I know you read in the paper I took a nasty spill the other night,” Chappelle said, according to audio obtained by “It wasn’t my fault.” The crowd on the audio can be heard cheering and supporting him. “This crowd is so much better than Hartford,” Chappelle told the Chicago crowd. “I will never go back.”

Kendrick Johnson (31307)


The United States Justice Department will not conduct a civil rights investigation in the case of a teenager found dead in a rolled-up mat at his southern Georgia high school, a spokesperson for that agency said Wednesday. Kendrick Johnson, 17, was discovered dead Jan. 11, headfirst in a rolled wrestling mat in the Lowndes County High School gymnasium in Valdosta. After reviewing the investigative file, the Justice Department determined there is not “sufficient indication of a civil rights violation to authorize a civil rights investigation. A second autopsy report, which was obtained by CNN on Tuesday, found that the youth died as the result of “unexplained, apparent non-accidental, blunt force trauma.” This report directly contradicts an autopsy conducted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that determined that Johnson’s death was the result of positional asphyxia. Questioning that cause of death, Johnson’s family sent copies of the second autopsy report to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Attorney for Georgia’s Middle District and Lowndes County Coroner—as well as the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal division—for review. On May 1, a judge granted the Johnsons’ request to exhume their son’s body in order to conduct—at their expense—the independent autopsy.

Jayson Germann (31305)


An officer with the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) was placed on emergency suspension without pay after he was allegedly involved in a crash while over the legal limit for alcohol. According to NOPD, the incident happened on Sunday, Aug. 1 at roughly 2:30 a.m. Officer Jayson Germann was driving on the I-10 Twin Span when he lost control of his unmarked vehicle and hit a guardrail. His vehicle then hit another vehicle being driven by Frank Hyde, 52, of Slidell. The Louisiana State Police was called to investigate. They suspected Germann was under the influence, and he agreed to take a breathalyzer. The test showed that he was over the legal limit ,and he was subsequently arrested and charged with DWI and Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle. Officials say the second driver involved in the crash, Hyde, was also found to be over the legal limit for alcohol. He was also arrested. Officer Germann was not on duty when the crash occurred. He was recently assigned to the department’s Gang Intelligence Unit.


A woman who tried to beat up her ex-boyfriend’s son with a five-pound dumbbell and smother him with a pillow is now facing an attempted murder charge, police in Maryland said Wednesday. Helen Marie Newsome, 26, broke into a home in Landover and hid inside for 10 hours before she attacked the 8-year-old in bed Saturday morning, Prince George’s Police Capt. Jimmy Simms said. “Newsome grabbed a pillow and placed it over the child’s face and then began striking him in the head with a weapon,” police said in a statement. The boy fought back and ran away. The boy, who had multiple lacerations on his head, was treated and released from the hospital, police said. The boy’s father had broken off a relationship with Newsome last week. Police say Newsome, who also has a 1-year-old child with the boy’s father, is charged with first-degree attempted murder and is being held on $500,000 bond.

Compiled By Juliana Norwood. CNN News Wire contributed to this report.